Frank Vignola

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Frank Vignola
Born (1965-12-30) December 30, 1965 (age 53)
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.[citation needed]


As leader[edit]

  • Appel Direct (Concord Jazz, 1993)
  • Let It Happen (Concord Jazz, 1994)
  • Concord Jazz Guitar Collective with Howard Alden, Jimmy Bruno (Concord Jazz, 1995)
  • Look Right, Jog Left (Concord Jazz, 1996)
  • Deja Vu (Concord, 1999)
  • Without a Doubt with Joe Ascione, Mark Egan, Frank Wess, (Koch, 2000)
  • Off Broadway (Nagel-Heyer, 2000)
  • Blues for a Gypsy (Acoustic Disc, 2001)
  • Vignola Plays Gershwin (Mel Bay, 2007)
  • Kong Man (VM, 2008)
  • Frank and Dawg: Melody Monsters with David Grisman (Acoustic Disc, 2008)
  • 100 Years of Django (Azica, 2010)
  • An Evening with... with Vinny Raniolo (Frank Vignola, 2011)
  • Beloved Earth Songs with Vinny Raniolo (2013)
  • Melody Magic with Vinny Raniolo (Azica, 2013)
  • Swing Zing! with Vinny Raniolo (Frank Vignola, 2015)[6]

As co-leader/guest[edit]

With Joe Ascione/The Frank & Joe Show

  • 2004 33 1/3
  • 2005 66 2/3
  • 2006 Submarine Bus

With John Bunch

  • 2008 Plays the Music of Irving Berlin (Except One)
  • 2010 Do Not Disturb

With David Grisman

With Jane Monheit

With Mark O'Connor

With Sam Pilafian

  • 1991 Travelin' Light
  • 1992 Christmas with Travelin' Light
  • 1992 Makin' Whoopee
  • 1995 Cookin' with Frank & Sam
  • 1995 Getting It Together

With Bucky Pizzarelli

  • 2005 Moonglow
  • 2005 Favorite Solos
  • 2008 So Hard to Forget
  • 2009 Standards Live

With Leon Redbone

  • 1988 Christmas Island
  • 1992 Up a Lazy River
  • 1991 Sugar
  • 1994 Whistling in the Wind
  • 2001 Any Time
  • 2005 Live – December 26, 1992: The Olympia Theater, Paris France

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 Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Frank Vignola | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 February 2017.

External links[edit]