John Sambataro was born on August 27, 1953 in South Florida. Growing up in a musical family made his career choice very easy. His dad Louis, who was also a musician & band director, inspired Johnne to start playing guitar at the age of 7. In middle school Johnne was already playing with local South Florida bands & by the age of 16, his Professional Career had started. Although widely known for his Vocals, Guitar Playing & Songwriting talent, his other instruments include Piano & Keyboards, Bass, Mandolin, Midi-Sequencing as well as being Jingle Writer, Record Producer, & Recording Engineer.
After attending schools in South Florida, Johnne continued his education studying Music Theory & Guitar at Miami Dade Community College. In 1975 he began working as a session Vocalist & Musician at Criteria Recording Studios in Miami. At Criteria, Johnne was able to meet & work with Record Producers to create parts for their Musical Artists. Some of the artists that he was fortunate to perform & record with include, Andy Gibb, Barry Gibb, Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Terri DeSario, Meat Loaf, John Parr, David Coverdale, Jimmy Page, Zakk Wylde & many others. Additionally, his experience at Criteria provided him with the opportunity to tour worldwide with Dave Mason, McGuinn, Clark & Hillman, Firefall & Dion.
Johnne’s touring experience started in 1978. After singing Background Vocals on Dave Mason’s “Mariposa de Oro” album, he was asked to join Dave for his Summer Tour. From 1979 through 1980, he was the Lead Guitarist & Vocalist for McGuinn, Clark & Hillman. From 1982 through 1989 Johnne became the Lead Singer, Guitarist & Songwriter for the rock group Firefall. During his time with Firefall, the two albums “Break Of Dawn” & “Mirror Of The World” were recorded. From 1989 through 1996, Johnne became the Lead Guitarist, Vocalist & Musical Director for Dion. In 2001, while Dave Mason was touring in Florida, he was asked to sit in for the DVD “Live At Sunrise”, recorded at Sunrise Musical Theater. He still tours currently as Dave Mason’s Guitarist & Vocalist & loves every minute of it. Johnne admits that one of best things about playing with Dave Mason on stage & in the studio is that ever since he was a teenager, he has been a fan of Dave’s legendary Music & Songwriting.
Johnne has also appeared & performed on many different television shows including, Midnight Special, The Old Grey Whistle Test, Unicef Benefit, Solid Gold, Nashville Now, Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve, Into The Night w/ Rick Dees, CNN, MTV & VH-1, as well as the Guitarist, Mandolin & Vocalist for the theme song of the T.V. sitcom “Heartland”.
Johnne still lives in South Florida with his wife Cathe & has two sons Jason & Jarrad that are also musicians.