Ivana Santilli was born to an Italian father and a French-Canadian mother. Ivana has always lived and breathed music. Taking the stage for the first time at age 9 she sang her heart out with her father’s Italian wedding band. Along with her equally-gifted sister Claudia, Ivana helped brighten many a wedding ceremony. She spent the next few years of her life like most young people in one of the most vibrant cities in the world; laughing, loving, learning, occasionally crying but always growing in spirit, mind and body. Piano lessons helped focus Ivana’s desire for music and the music curriculum at her high school, Loretto Abbey, added the trumpet to her ever-expanding musical arsenal. After graduating high school, academia called and three years in university resulted in Ivana graduating with a degree.
It was while in university that she hooked up with her first band, Bass is Base. The trio’s funk and soul fusion garnered them many an award, and two successful albums. Feeling the need to spread her wings, Ivana departed the band and set out to find her own sound.
Two years of writing, re-writing, arranging, composing resulted in her solo debut Brown. Released in April of 1999, the album went on to become one of the most successful independent albums released in Canada that year. The album was unique in that it showcased Ivana’s many influences and had something for everyone. It was this music and a her live performances that helped garner Brown critical and commercial success and helped Ivana become one of Canada’s most unique and talented artists; along with being a triple threat (vocals, keys, trumpet), Ivana is also fluent in Italian and French.
On August 10, 2004 she released her sophomore album, Corduroy Boogie, which included the singles, "Deserve" and "What Matters". The video version of "What Matters" appears on a various artists compliation entitled Required Listening.