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Berks Arts
Frank Vignola's Birdland Guitar Night

Frank Vignola's Birdland Guitar Night

featuring Pasquale Grasso, Vinny Raniolo, Houston Person & more
03/31/2023
Fri 6:00 PM
Miller Center for the Arts
4 North 2nd Street, Reading
from $49.00
Sale starts soon

This red-hot concert celebrates guitarist Frank Vignola’s residency every Wednesday night at New York City’s legendary Birdland Jazz Club Theatre.

Vignola’s extraordinary virtuosity, his range of styles, and his charisma have made him an international favorite. He has performed in 21 countries on three continents at the world’s greatest venues, and his 30 albums reflect his deep and wide musical interests and his many musical friendships with artists like Tommy Emmanuel, Chris Thile, the late Bucky Pizzarelli and Mark O’Connor.

Vignola, who formed the Hot Club Quintet when he was 23, has been an important figure in the revival of Gypsy jazz, bringing a new appreciation of the music of the great guitarist Django Rheinhardt to a whole new generation of musicians and audiences.

This concert will feature Italian guitarist Pasquale Grasso, whose seventh album is “Pasquale Plays Duke;” guitarist Vinny Raniolo, who has performed and recorded with Frank in various formats for many years; bassist Gary Mazzapropi; and drummer Vince Cherico.

Special guest Houston Person will join the festivities with his tenor sax. Best known for soul jazz, the 87-year-old has created more than 75 albums as a leader. His first big break was as a sideman for organist Johnny Hammond and his band, co-led by the late vocalist Etta Jones. Person worked with Jones from 1973 to her death in 2001. His most recent album is “Live in Paris” (2019).

Guitarist/composer Brian Betz is from the Philadelphia Metro area. He has released six CDs and is a two-time winner of the Betty Carter International Jazz Competition (2004 and 2007). He is on the faculty of Rowan University in New Jersey, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in music and teaches in the Paulsboro Public Schools.

Denis DiBlasio (baritone sax and flute) returns to Berks Jazz Fest after a long absence. The New Jersey native joined Maynard Ferguson’s big band after earning a master’s degree from the University of Miami; he was Ferguson’s music director for five years. He added composing, arranging and scat singing to his skill set, and has released 12 CDs, the latest of which is a two-CD set, “Reflections of Childhood/Duets” (2019). He is the executive director of the Maynard Ferguson Institute of Jazz Studies at Rowan University, and a clinician for the Yamaha Musical Corporation. He has written five texts on jazz improvisation.

Tickets start at
$49.00
Frank Vignola's Birdland Guitar Night
Miller Center for the Arts
Sale starts soon

03/31/2023
Fri 6:00 PM
Miller Center for the Arts
4 North 2nd Street, Reading
from $49.00

Organizer

Berks Arts

Berks Arts is a nonprofit organization based in Reading, Pa. whose mission is to Inspire, Engage, and Unite communities through the arts.