Frank Vignola

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Frank Vignola
Born (1965-12-30) December 30, 1965 (age 54)
West Islip, New York, U.S.
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, gypsy jazz, swing, pop, classical
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, producer, author
InstrumentsGuitar, banjo
Years active1979–present
LabelsConcord Jazz, Acoustic Disc, Jazzology, Mel Bay, Azica
Associated actsDavid Grisman, Mark O'Connor, Joe Ascione, Bucky Pizzarelli, Vinny Raniolo, Tommy Emmanuel

Frank Vignola (born December 30, 1965) is an American jazz guitarist. He has played in the genres of swing, fusion, gypsy jazz, classical, and pop.


Vignola grew up on Long Island, New York. His father played accordion and banjo and his brother plays trumpet. When he was five, he picked up the guitar, learning from his father and from records by Django Reinhardt, Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Pass, and Johnny Smith.[1] At 12 he started on the banjo, and two years later he won a national championship in Canada.[2]

On Long Island, he studied guitar at the Cultural Arts Center.[3] Early in his career, he went to used record stores to buy albums by musicians whose work he didn't know, so that he could study their music.[4]

In 1987, when he was 23, he formed the Hot Club Quintet, named after the Quintette du Hot Club de France. In the early 1990s, he was in New York City, playing in groups with Max Morath, Andy Stein, Herman Foster, Joe Ascione, and tuba player Sam Pilafian. He formed the Concord Jazz Collective with veteran guitarists Howard Alden and Jimmy Bruno.[2] The roster of musicians he has worked with includes Leon Redbone, Ken Peplowski, Susannah McCorkle, Charlie Byrd, Joey DeFrancesco, Gene Bertoncini, Johnny Frigo, Bucky Pizzarelli, Wynton Marsalis, David Grisman, Jane Monheit, Mark O'Connor, and Donald Fagen.

He has written over fifteen instructional books for Mel Bay, produced several instructional DVDs, and teaches courses on the internet.[4] He appeared on the PBS television programs Tommy Emmanuel and Friends and Four Generations of Guitar.[5]

In May 2017, Frank Vignola was in a serious ATV accident when he was thrown into a tree and sustained many injuries. In November 2017, friend and fellow guitarist Tommy Emmanuel posted an update on Vignola's status, stating that he would be unable to play the guitar and may only recover after many surgeries and a long period of physical therapy. However, as of May 2018 he had recovered and was again performing.[6]


As leader[edit]

  • Appel Direct (Concord Jazz, 1993)
  • Makin' Whoopee with Sam Pilafian (Telarc, 1993)
  • Let It Happen (Concord Jazz, 1994)
  • Concord Jazz Guitar Collective with Howard Alden, Jimmy Bruno (Concord Jazz, 1995)
  • Cookin' with Frank and Sam (Concord Jazz, 1995)
  • Look Right, Jog Left (Concord Vista 1996)
  • Deja Vu (Concord Vista, 1999)
  • Django Lives with Hot Club USA (Koch, 1999)
  • Without a Doubt with Joe Ascione, Mark Egan, Frank Wess (Koch, 2000)
  • Off Broadway (Nagel-Heyer, 2000)
  • Autumn Leaves at Astley's with Gene Bertoncini (True Track, 2001)
  • Hot Swing! with Mark O'Connor (OMAC, 2001)
  • Blues for a Gypsy (Acoustic Disc, 2001)
  • Meeting of the Grooves with Gene Bertoncini (Azica, 2002)
  • Stringin' the Blues: A Tribute to Eddie Lang with Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Al Viola, Marty Grosz (Jazzology, 2003)
  • Moonglow with Bucky Pizzarelli (Hyena, 2005)
  • Vignola Plays Gershwin (Mel Bay, 2006)
  • The Living Room Sessions with David Grisman (Acoustic Disc, 2007)
  • Standards (Self-Released, 2009)
  • Just Between Frets with Tommy Emmanuel (Solid Air, 2009)
  • 100 Years of Django (Azica, 2010)
  • Jam Session with Mark O'Connor, Chris Thile (OMAC, 2010)
  • An Evening With... with Vinny Raniolo (2011)
  • First Time Together! with David Grisman, Martin Taylor (Acoustic Disc, 2012)
  • Beloved Earth Songs with Vinny Raniolo (2013)
  • Swing Zing! with Vinny Raniolo (2015)
  • Frank 'n' Dawg: Melody Monsters with David Grisman (Acoustic Disc, 2017)

As sideman[edit]

With Leon Redbone

  • Sugar (Private Music, 1990)
  • Up a Lazy River (Blue Thumb, 1992)
  • Whistling in the Wind (Private Music, 1994)
  • Any Time (Blue Thumb, 2001)
  • Live October 26, 1992 the Olympia Theater Paris, France (Rounder, 2005)

With others


  1. ^ "Acoustic Disc Online". Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b Rye, Howard (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 3 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 172. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  3. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Frank Vignola | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b Richter, Alison (8 March 2013). "Interview: Jazz Guitarist Frank Vignola Discusses the Importance of Practicing". Guitar World. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Biography – Frank Vignola". Frank Vignola. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Frank Vignola: Given the Gift of Life". Jazz Times. May 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2019.

External links[edit]