GIO Fuertisimo was founded in 1993 by Gilbert Doran and a couple of friends and colleagues that were members of the musical organization Explosivos.
The original name is Gibi i Orkesta, GIO Fuertisimo for short.
The band started with three lead singers that were much acclaimed at that time: Gilbert "Gibi" Doran, Urvin "Luwi" Jano and Albertiko "Tico" Libiee.
The band started with two trumpets and two trombones in it's constellation.
They had two Peruvian trumpeters when the band started.
GIO had to work hard in the first two years (1993-1994) to achieve the acceptance of the general public even though the singers were very popular. The market was very competitive and if you wanted to succeed you had to prove your right of existence.
GIO was able to prove his right and conquer a place on the market in two years.
They were honored as band of the year in 1995. Since then GIO was able to hold the honor of being the number one band for several years. We have to give credit to the other bands that gave us some fierce competition causing us to lose the number one position, sometimes number two and even being the third most popular local band.
This made us vigilant to work hard to conquer this much acclaimed position. Since then GIO Fuertisimo has been the most popular local band of Curacao.
It's very remarkable that GIO Fuertisimo was founded without any major sponsoring. Personal properties were set as collateral at a local bank in order to comply with rules set to get a loan to finance the starting of the band. One of these personal properties was the real estate lot of Michael Doran, who to this date is still one of the main brains behind this organization. With the help of our father Gilberto "Beti" Doran (RIP) who had a close relationship with local banker Lio Capriles who vouched for our project so we could buy new instruments with the loan.
Like most companies Gio Fuertisimo has had also some financial struggles.
Nelson Farah local merchant was so generous to take over the financial burden from the organization and alleviated the band from this enormous pressure.
GIO has always been a musical organization that could adapt to any environment. The band wasn't only popular because of being the founders of Ritmo Kombina but they could easily adapt to all rhythms. One example is when you have GIO playing at a "Comeback" party. They are well accepted by this public (the Bailadores).
There is a high demand to have GIO at comeback parties.
GIO has known several lead singers over the years. We already mentioned Urvin Jano and Albertiko Libee who were two of the starting singers. Clifton End, Humphrey Krolis, Omar Lareine, Aisley Rooi, Roald Balentien and Clarck "Yuyu" Zalm were all lead singers at a certain period in GIO's history.
Today GIO has a new front consisting of the following lead singers: Djurick "Djudju V" Virginie, Leandry "Rasta Lè" Gonzales and Gilbert Doran Jr "Dibo".
This new ensemble has been performing at a very high level.
In 17 year's history GIO Fuertisimo has accompanied five tumba Festival winners namely:
- 1997: Boy Dap with Klabe
- 1998: Urivin Jano with Tene den bo man, sakudie
- 2001: Izaline Calister with Much'I Otrabanda
- 2002: Elia Isenia with Awe
- 2010: Elia Isenia with Mi pueblo a mandami
GIO has set many records in Curacao's Tumba Festival.
Every year GIO has one or more tumba songs in the finalists.
As the inventors of Ritmo kombina is GIO not only dominantly known on Curacao but also on the markets of Bonaire, Aruba and Netherlands. It is a fact that The Dutch Kingdom has loved the Ritmo kombina that GIO represents.
Other bands are also using this rhythm for their songs.
The biggest lost GIO had to endure was at the end of 1999 when five members of the band decided to leave the organization. Even a big walkout like this was not able to break the stability and the popularity of the band's performance in the local showbiz scene.
GIO has also been a band that performed together with many international artists on the same stage. Fernandito Villalona, Sergio Vargas, Juan Luis Guerra y su 440, Tito Nieves, Oscar De Leon and Marc Anthony are a few of these international artists.
The feedback received from these international stars has always been very positive and we can proudly say that GIO can share stage and perform well with any international artist.
GIO Fuertisimo will always continue working and providing professional, high level of entertainment. GIO will keep working hard to remain the MOST popular band of Curacao.