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Frank Vignola

An extremely versatile jazz guitarist, Frank Vignola has demonstrated that he is capable of playing everything from fusion and commercial pop-jazz to hard bop, post-bop, and swing. The native New Yorker has a wide variety of influences; everyone from Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, and Pat Metheny to Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian has affected his playing in some way. For Vignola, different influences have asserted themselves at different times — the Reinhardt or Christian influence might be especially prominent in a swing environment, whereas he has sometimes sounded more Metheny-ish in fusion or pop-jazz/NAC settings. And he might be mindful of Montgomery or Pass on a hard bop or post-bop project. Born on suburban Long Island on December 30, 1965, Vignola was raised in the New York area. The Italian-American started playing the guitar at the age of five 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 rock, RB, and pop. The guitarists that he admired ranged from jazz musicians to rock icons like Eric Clapton and Eddie Van Halen. As a young adult, Vignola studied at the Cultural Arts Center of Long Island and went on to enjoy a lot of sideman gigs in the 1980s. The New Yorker was 27 when, in 1993, he signed with Concord Jazz and recorded his first Concord session as a leader, Appel Direct. Several more Concord releases followed in the 1990s, and the early 2000s found Vignola recording for Nagel-Heyer as well as Acoustic Disc.

Currently Frank has been extremely busy with a variety of projects including MaMaVig, a trio featuring mandolin virtuoso Jamie Masefield of The Jazz Mandolin Project, Gary Mazzaroppi the formidable bass player, and Frank. They play a unique blend of gypsy grass in the style of Django Reinhardt and take it to a whole other level. The name MaMaVig is a merging of their last names.

Frank has also been investing some time into Frank Vignola's Gypsy Grass Collective featuring a rotating roster of supreme players featuring some of the acoustic music scene's hottest young players. Melding contemporary gypsy jazz, bluegrass, toe-tapping swing and front porch picking into a uniquely eclectic, upbeat sound of their own, Gypsy Grass is sure to amaze fans of the various styles and genres it employs. At times sublime, controlled and elegant, these innovators can instantly change gears to wildly imaginative improvisation and nasty, hot picking. Think Django Reinhardt meets Jerry Reed with some flashes of Bach and Miles Davis…

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Walt Pitts
guitar and vocals

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Swing Zing!

Fv Records
2015

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100 Years of Django

Azica Records
2010

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Standards

Original Jazz Classics
2009

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Vignola Plays Gershwin

Mel Bay Records
2007

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Vignola Plays Gershwin

Original Jazz Classics
2006

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66 2/3

Hyena Records
2005

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