Acoustic Guitarists - Frank Vignola


Frank Vignola

One of the world's most highly sought after acoustic guitarists, Frank Vignola, will perform as part of West Shore Community College’s Performing Arts Series on Sat., Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Center Stage Theater.

Vignola has amply demonstrated his mastery of every genre, from fusion and commercial pop-jazz to hard bop, post-bop, swing, rock, and blues. Cited by jazz guitar legend Les Paul as one of the top five guitarists of all time, Vignola has toured and recorded with the diverse likes of Bucky Pizzarelli, Les Paul, Lionel Hampton, Donald Fagen, Queen Latifah, Ringo Starr, Madonna, Dave Grisman, and Mark O'Connor. Frank Vignola’s stunning Gershwin tribute album, "I Got Rhythm," garnered a "Top Ten Jazz CD" citation from NPR.

With over 1000 engagements in the last five years alone, Vignola has become one of the most popular and sought after guitarists on the international music scene and is one of the most accomplished, multi-dimensional players walking the planet today. His pedigree is a mile long, but a quick Google will illustrate why he is considered one of the best on the planet.

Often featured on National Public Radio, Frank Vignola has also become a familiar figure on Public Television, featured previously on three popular shows, including the heavily programmed Tommy Emmanuel and Friends.

His own PBS special, “Four Generations of Guitar” produced by Peter Berkow, premieres in the 2015 season as part of the forthcoming 13 episode series “Music Gone Public”, where they will be joined by special guests, Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Craven and Tommy Emmanuel.

Born on suburban Long Island, Vignola was raised in the New York area. The Italian-American started playing the guitar at the age of five 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 rock, R&B, and pop. The guitarists that he admires range from Django and George Barnes 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 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 three releases for the Telarc label as co-leader of the group Travelin' Light.

The early 2000's found Vignola recording for Acoustic Disc, Hyena Records 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 has also recorded several DVD's for Mel Bay Records. "Gypsy Jam" features Jimmy Rosenberg and "Favorite Solo's" features Frank with one of his guitar heroes, Bucky Pizzarelli.

Vignola has written 18 guitar instruction books for Mel Bay Publications and has recorded several CDROM educational products for He has performed hundreds of clinics and master classes at major universities and colleges throughout the country including Julliard and Boston University. 

Tickets for the concert are available online or the WSCC Box Office by calling 843-5507 or by emailing

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Author: Thomas Hawley | Executive Director of College Relations