Sat Oct 28 2023
7:00 PM (Doors 6:00 PM)
32 N 4th Street Columbus, OH 43215
$25 Seated show
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Celebrity Etc presents & WCBE 90.5 FM presents
Frank Vignola, born December 30th, 1965, 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, John Lewis, Tommy Emmanuel, Lionel Hampton, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul, who named Vignola to his “Five Most Admired Guitarists List:” for the Wall Street Journal. Frank Vignola is one of the most popular and sought after guitarists on the international music scene. His dynamic genre-spanning music has brought him to 21 countries on three continents – and still growing – performing in some of the world’s most illustrious venues, including the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, New York’s Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, and the world’s oldest indoor concert hall, Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy.
Vignola has recorded over 30 CD’s as a leader and has been a guest on hundreds of recordings. Vignola has written over 18 educational music books, recorded the critically acclaimed, “Vignola Plays Gershwin” CD, and recorded 2 DVD’ for Mel Bay Publications. He has also produced 42 full length video teaching courses for TrueFire.com, for all levels. His on-line One on One private lessons and online Jazz Studio continue to thrive, having reached thousands of jazz guitar enthusiasts throughout the globe.
Currently, Frank Vignola holds residency every Wednesday night at the world famous Birdland Jazz Club Theatre in New York City. “Frank Vignola’s Guitar Night” has featured some of the finest talent on the planet including Mike Stern, Pasquale Grasso, Peter Bernstein, Houston Person and more.
It was the kind of endorsement most rising guitarists can only dream of, and then some. In his interview for Vintage Guitar magazine’s February 2016 cover story, Pat Metheny was asked to name some younger musicians who’d impressed him. “The best guitar player I’ve heard in maybe my entire life is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso,” said the jazz-guitar icon and NEA Jazz Master. “This guy is doing something so amazingly musical and so difficult.
“Mostly what I hear now are guitar players who sound a little bit like me mixed with a little bit of [John Scofield] and a little bit of [Bill Frisell],” he continued. “What’s interesting about Pasquale is that he doesn’t sound anything like that at all. In a way, it is a little bit of a throwback, because his model—which is an incredible model to have—is Bud Powell. He has somehow captured the essence of that language from piano onto guitar in a way that almost nobody has ever addressed. He’s the most significant new guy I’ve heard in many, many years.”
As he’s done with many rising jazz stars, Metheny later invited Grasso over to his New York pad to jam
and share some wisdom. He’s since become a generous presence in Grasso’s life, and his assessment of Grasso’s playing is—no surprise—spot-on. Born in Italy and now based in New York City, the 30-year-old guitarist has developed an astounding technique and concept informed not by jazz guitarists so much as by bebop pioneers like Powell, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and the classical-guitar tradition. His new digital-only EP series, available beginning in June from Sony Masterworks, showcases Grasso in the solo-guitar format, where his intensive studies of both midcentury jazz and classical meld into a signature mastery that is, remarkably, at once unprecedented and evocative.
But whom does it evoke? After a surface listen, Joe Pass and his essential Virtuoso LPs might come to mind. Now listen again. The sparkling, immaculately balanced tone; the tasteful tinges of stride and boogie-woogie rhythm; the stunning single-note lines that connect his equally striking use of chordal harmony—for Grasso, great solo arranging equals Art Tatum.
Many serious guitar heads have been hip to Grasso for a while now and are aware of his jaw-dropping online performance videos, his beautiful custom instrument -- built in France by Trenier Guitars -- and his early career triumphs. In 2015, he won the Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Competition in New York City, taking home a $5,000 prize and performing with guitar legend Pat Martino’s organ trio. Last year at D.C.’s Kennedy Center, as part of the NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert, Grasso participated in a special performance to honor Pat Metheny, alongside his guitar-wunderkind peers Dan Wilson, Camila Meza, Gilad Hekselman and Nir Felder.
These days, Grasso teaches and maintains a packed gig schedule around New York, including frequent solo performances at the popular Greenwich Village haunt Mezzrow, where a regular Monday-night gig allowed him to develop his solo-arranging skillset. Not that Grasso thinks his work is done. “All [of the musicians I love are] inspiration for me to get new ideas and form my style, because it’s still growing,” Pasquale says. “And it’s gonna be growing until the day I die.”
Celebrity Etc presents & WCBE 90.5 FM presents
Frank Vignola & Pasquale Grasso
Sat Oct 28 2023 7:00 PM
(Doors 6:00 PM)