featuring Vinny Raniolo & Glenn Tosto
LIVE on Folk & Beyond with Aer Stephen
Thursday September 15, 2011, 5:05 PM
Frank Vignola is one of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world's top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his "Five Most Admired Guitar List" for the Wall Street Journal. Vignola's jaw-dropping technique explains why the New York Times deemed him "one of the brightest...stars of the guitar".
On Thursday, just after 5 PM, Aer welcomes the return of Frank Vignola, in the form of a very special Frank Vignola Trio. While the Trio is usually comprised of Frank with Vinny Raniolo on guitar and Gary Mazzaroppi on bass, this evening the Trio will be a guitar army, with Glenn Tosto (Gypsy Jazz Caravan) making the trip instead of Gary. Later this evening, at 110 East Main Street in nearby Orange, Virginia, The FVT will be performing at a small intimate venue, The Light Well, at 8 PM, who proudly boast “Frank and friends have been sneaking into Orange and delivering world class shows for more than 2 years. They are truly ‘sleepers’, meaning that the quality of their performances surpass any others who have performed in our fair town. They have been featured on NPR and TJU multiple times.” Frank and Vinny ‘warmed up’ for this trip by stopping in to play with Tommy Emmanuel and kicking off last weekend’s 2011 MDA Telethon in Las Vegas.
Born on suburban Long Island on December 30, 1965, Frank Vignola was raised in the New York area. The Italian-American started playing the guitar at the age of six and grew up admiring a variety of guitarists. Far from a jazz snob, Vignola never listened to jazz exclusively and was also a major fan of classical, rock, R&B, and pop. The guitarists that he admires range from Django and Les Paul to rock icons like Frank Zappa and Eddie Van Halen. As a young adult, Vignola studied at the Cultural Arts Center of Long Island and went on to enjoy an enormous amount of sideman gigs in the 1980s including recording and touring with the likes of Madonna, Leon Redbone, Ringo Starr as well as coming into his own as a leader in 1988 with his famed Hot Club of France tribute which was hailed in the NY Times as one of the top ten acts in New York City in 1988 and forged the way for the many Django Hot Club groups that followed. The New Yorker was 27 when, in 1993, he signed with Concord Jazz and recorded his first Concord session as a leader, Appel Direct. Many more Concord releases followed in the 1990s as well as 3 releases for the Telarc label as co-leader of the group Travelin' Light. The early 2000's found Vignola recording a solo guitar CD for Acoustic Disc as well as performing regularly with guitarist, Les Paul. This also marked the time that Frank began working with record producer Joel Dorn as well as making featured appearances on Atlantic, Sony and Warner Brothers Records with the likes of Donald Fagen, Queen Latifah, Mark O Connor and Wynton Marsalis. He also recorded a collection of Gershwin pieces for Mel Bay Records titled, "Vignola Plays Gershwin" which was number 2 in NPR radio airplay charts. In recent years, Vignola has recorded two important collaborative CD's, "Just Between Frets" with Tommy Emmanuel on Solid Air Records and "Frank-N-Dawg, Melody Monsters" with mandolinist David Grisman on Acoustic Disc Records. Frank has written 18 guitar instruction books for Mel Bay Publications and has recorded 6 Educational DVD's for Truefire.com. He has performed hundreds of clinics and masterclasses at major universities and colleges throughout the world including Julliard and Boston University. Currently, Vignola is touring world wide.
Even though his career in music is only at the beginning, Vinny Raniolo has already had many opportunities that take most players a lifetime to achieve. Now playing guitar along side many of the finest musicians in the world, he is very excited to see where his music career will take him. At age 26, Vinny has already toured the world and performed at many of the world's top venues. Vinny is very dedicated to his career as a professional touring musician, studio musician, educator and arranger. Beginning to play guitar at age 13, Vinny has already experienced a very diverse career in his 13 years of playing music. After performing his first gigs at the age of 16 in local jazz clubs, rock n’ roll bars, and musical theatre pit bands he began to catch the ears of other professional musicians and began to tour and work in recording studios. Vinny has been on recordings with Frank Vignola, Bucky Pizzarelli, Tommy Emmanuel, Tony Trishka, Matt Flinner, Ken Peplowski and many others. Vinny is also an experienced educator and has taught classes at Bowling Green University, Kent State University, Asiago Music Conservatory and others. He has also worked for many educational companies such as Mel Bay and Truefire.com. Vinny now tours the world with jazz guitar great, Frank Vignola and guitar virtuoso from Austrailia, Tommy Emmanuel.