Virgil is known amongst professional drummers as a technical virtuoso, having developed incredible power and flexibility (whilst playing traditional grip), mastered polyrhythyms, odd-time playing and intricate phrasing, attained blinding quickness and powerful, metronomic precision – all with a rare attention to showmanship and visual playing.
While currently carving a career in Los Angeles while maintaining his busy schedule of clinics, Virgil’s diverse influences of rock, jazz, and fusion from the likes of Miles, Coltrane, Buddy, Deep Purple, Carl Palmer, Zeppelin, The Police and Soundgarden all contribute to his tremendous performance.
But it is no secret that it’s Virgil’s feet that have gained him the most attention, both in Australia and internationally. Having developed incredible speed both with single and double-stroke rolls on the bass drums, he is able to hold complex, often odd-time and syncopated ostinatos at ridiculous tempos with his feet whilst soloing freely and musically with his hands.
Donati is beginning to be recognized as one of the true enduring masters – hence this quote from Modern Drummer Awards’ Hall of Famer Dave Weckl – “I mean look at Virgil. Imagine how much you’d have to practice to get that good!”
Since moving to the United States, Virgil has joined Derek Sherinian’s L.A. prog-metal group Planet X, and either with this group or solo, he’s been causing heads to turn and jaws to drop across the country, on the clinic trail, and setting new performance standards for the L.A. studio scene.
- On The Virg
- Steve Vai (on 2001 tour)
- Southern Sons
- Jon Stevens
- Tribal Tech
- Garsed, Helmerich