About Heart Wonders Music
Heart Wonders is John Nastasi and Dawn Vitalis. Based in Southwest Florida, John is a lifelong musician and current music director at Lady of Lourdes Church in Venice Florida. He started playing guitar at age 9 from St Benedict's Elementary School in the Bronx, NY. Was NY All State jazz guitarist in 9th grade at Somers High (NY). Graduated as a classical guitarist from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY having learned to play almost every instrument offered. He took on a "day job" as a financial principal for the next 25+ years (to raise the family and pay the bills), earning a Masters of Music from the University of South Florida along the way (just for fun).
Dawn Vitalis is the lead vocalist of Heart Wonders. She grew up in Yorktown Heights NY where her love of music was fed at St Patricks church. Unbeknownst to either, John and Dawn grew up in adjacent towns but never met until September of 2013, in Venice Florida. Dawn volunteered to sing in John's church music program. John auditioned her and immediately knew he was blest with a musical gem. She could sing and play guitar! And what a voice! Harmonies and a vocal range beyond expectation. Where had she been all this time? Well, she was a nun for the prior 23 years and was dispensed to return home to Florida to be with her family. Seeking a ministry, she has been a great asset to the music program and the inspiration for Heart Wonders Music, songs of Love, Life and Spirit. Our genre is Contemporary Christian / spiritual. Our musical style is an eclectic blend of folk, country and pop, with a mostly acoustic music flair.
The first 10 tracks are originals composed by Dawn and John in collaboration. In most cases, the lyrics came first and then the music. Exceptions were "Do You Feel" which started out as a melody stuck in John's head. "One Take", likewise was inspired by the boot up sound of John's radar detector and Tom O, guest drummer, inspired the reggae beat. Odd surprises include the audio equalizer as guiro and toy frog in "Do You Feel". All other instrumental tracks are all performed by John with Dawn handling tambourine and lead vocal duty. Many of the non-guitar instruments were produced on the guitar using the Roland GR-20 Guitar synthesizer. This may be the first album produced using so much of that particular pedal for strings, flutes, steel drum, bongos, banjo and hammond organ. John is lead vocal on "None of the Above", inspired by observations of the various wedding couples that pass through church. Life is beautiful, yes, but also funny.
The "bonus track" #11 was inspired by our Lady of Lourdes Pastor Fr Arnold who encourages us to play it after communion at his services. This album would be incomplete without that track. We are grateful to our parish family, many of whom have become dearest friends, and for their Heart Wonders which inspire and lift our spirits. This recording of this album would not have been possible without the serendipity of a flute(Barb) and harp (Margie) duo referring us to a recording genius, Walt Rossmann(Art). All music was recorded in Walt's "Dome Studio" in Venice. Ironically, almost all tracks were done in one take until we jinxed it by writing a song called "One Take". Karma to keep us humble as always.
Special thanks to our gene pool families and our music families well (names withheld to protect the innocent). But you know who you are! Love and Heart Wonders to all!