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".
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 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.
"Vignola, who possesses jaw-dropping technique, wears his influences on the tip of his pick" - Mike Joyce - Washington Post
"A spectacular sold out concert ushered in the 7th year of Jazz at the Powerhouse." - Mary Johnson - Baltimore Sun
"Listeners including myself were hooting and hollering in reaction to the Vignolas group's burning set" - Melissa Merli - News Gazette - Krannert Center Guitar Festival
"For me, the standout musician in the ensemble was guitarist Frank Vignola, who can play more musically at ridiculous tempos than just about anyone I've heard. Vignola had the crowd in the palm of his hand for every solo."- The Jazz Session Jason Crane, Tanglewood Jazz Festival
" How versatile is Frank Vignola? He's collaborated with Lionel Hampton and Madonna, covers Mozart and McCartney on the same record and is one of Les Paul's favorite guitarists." - Joan Anderman, Boston Globe
"It's not jazz as we know jazz here in America." - Les Paul, on naming Vignola to his 'Five Most Admired Guitarists' list for The Wall Street Journal.
"Frank Vignola has too much fun onstage to be as serious about his music as he obviously is." - Louisville Music News
"Vignola returned on Sweet Georgia Brown, exhibiting his acoustic mastery in exhilarating single string runs, complex flurries and astounding full register riffs. When speed and clarity were demanded, Vignola stunned." Downbeat
"Frank Vignola...is one of the brightest of the young guitar stars" - New York Times
"Vignola's finger flying solos sparked stupendous versions of Limehouse Blues and Minor Swing." - Kansas City Star
"The monstrous Frank Vignola...is one of the most vicious tremelo-pickers on the scene" - Jude Gold - Guitar Player Magazine