Guitarist Frank Vignola may not be a household name, but his resume is impressive
Born on suburban Long Island, New York, Frank Vignola has been playing the guitar most of his life. His career spans decades and he has played with such big-name artists as 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.
“I started at the age of 6 on the ukulele and at age 7 switched to guitar,” Vignola explains. “It was then I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to the guitar.”
As a young adult, Vignola studied at the Cultural Arts Center of Long Island, and at the age of 27 he signed with Concord Jazz. Since then he has released several albums, and has written 18 guitar instruction books for Mel Bay Publications and has recorded six Educational DVDs for truefire.com. He has performed hundreds of clinics and master classes at major universities and colleges throughout the world including Juilliard and Boston University.
With such great accomplishments under his belt, Vignola has received many accolades and has been called by some a “master guitarist.” So, what’s in a name?
“I don’t really know what this means,” says Vignola. “I have spent the last 40 years of my life practicing and entertaining people in many different countries and still truly enjoy practicing and performing. A ‘master’? I don’t know. There are no tests to determine one’s achievement level on the guitar nor should there be. Music is such a personal thing. One may really enjoy one type of music or instrumentalist and another might not.”
While we’re on the topic of different types of music, Vignola may be known primarily for jazz, but his interests and influences encompass a wide variety. He grew-up listening to classical, rock, R&B and pop. The guitarists that he admires range from Django Reinhardt and Les Paul to rock icons like Frank Zappa and Eddie Van Halen.
“I love to play good songs from Beethoven and Mozart to Simon and Garfunkel,” he says. “I love to play acoustic guitar music of all genres.”
Vignola will be performing this Sunday, January 13, at The Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans along with guitarist Vinny Raniolo.
What can the audience expect to hear? Almost anything, explains Vignola.
“In Augusta, Vinny Raniolo and I will be performing Mozart, Beethoven, [a] tribute to the great Les Paul who I worked with for many years and even some sing-along material,” he says. “We love to entertain so all is fair game. We take requests and hopefully they are songs we know. If not, we will learn them for next time.” An Evening with Master Guitarist Frank Vignola Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center Sunday, January 13 Doors, 6:30 p.m.; music, 7:30 p.m. | $25-$30 706-726-0366 | augustaamusements.com You Might Also Like: