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Vinny Valentino

Guitarist Composer Vinny Valentino continues to redefine musical genres, to the acclaim of audiences worldwide. His international debut recording, The Distance Between Two Lines, shot straight up the charts to #2 and stayed on the national charts for more than 14 weeks-an unprecedented achievement for a first international release. Paul Anthony of Jazz Unlimited called it "one of the top five albums of 1993." Vinny's 1996 international release, Now and Again, extended his critical acclaim. George Benson refers to Vinny as a "young genius with brilliant tone and fresh ideas." Vintage Guitar Magazine writes "wonderful jazz player with killer chops, wonderful compositional skills�"(March 1997). "Valentino doesn't hide behind reconstituted Wes Montgomery licks like so many guitarists these days... crafty fingerings�. delectable originals" (Gavin Jazz, May 10.1996). Ralph Mitchell of WFSK-FM raves, "My goodness. Talk about hot house jazz that CD is smoking!!" Versatile is an understatement when describing guitarist and composer, Vinny Valentino. Playing guitar since age six, this native Virginian began touring in a progressive rock band while still in high school. At age 16, influenced by the music of George Benson, Vinny began pursuing Jazz as a career. He recalls, "The turning point for me was hearing George Benson in concert; I had never heard anybody play like that. It was an eye-opening experience." Vinny earned his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies at Howard University. He began his musical studies at Northern Virginia Community College and continued them at George Mason University before concentrating on jazz at Howard. In 1988, he released his first solo recording entitled, Vinny Valentino, and now has six recordings to his credit. Endorsements include Yamaha Guitars and Pro Audio, D'Addario strings, Cakewalk Music Software, Cad Microphones and TKL Cases. Vinny has shared the stage or recording studio with such jazz greats as Steve Smith, Tom Coster, Russell Ferrante, Tom Scott, Gary Bartz, Jeff Andrews, John Benitez, John Pattitucci, Randy Brecker, Bob Moses, George Benson, Steve Gadd, Chick Corea, Dennis Chambers, and Jimmy McGriff. . Vinny appeared with his band as the feature performers on BET's jazz cable program, "Bet on Jazz." This one-hour feature program became one of the top five requested programs on "Bet on Jazz". One of the first musicians to perform live on the World Wide Web, Vinny continues to pioneer on the Internet with online clinics, performances and lessons at http://www.vinny.com. Vinny's compositions have been recorded by John Benitez, George Benson, and Steve Haas and are featured in the "All Jazz Real Book." The National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts have recognized Vinny's talents as composer, arranger, and recording artist with a grant for a series of works entitled "New Music for Three Guitars." Based in New York City, Vinny tours extensively, playing concerts, festivals, and club engagements around the world.

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