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Acclaimed Guitarist Frank Vignola to Perform

Guitarist Frank Vignola will perform with The University of Scranton Jazz Band Saturday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center. Admission is free.
April 16, 2018

Critically acclaimed guitar virtuoso Frank Vignola will take the stage with The University of Scranton Jazz Band on Saturday, April 21. The concert, presented by Performance Music at the University, will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center, Mulberry Street and Jefferson Avenue. Admission is free, with seating on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Earlier that day, Vignola will give a free guitar masterclass. The class is open to local student, amateur and professional guitar players, aged 16 or older. Those interested in taking part in the masterclass should email music@scranton.edu for more information.

According to Performance Music Conductor and Director Cheryl Y. Boga, the concert will feature Vignola performing both as a soloist and with the 25-member Jazz Band, an ensemble of big band instrumentation comprised of University student musicians from majors spanning the curriculum.

Boga said the band is in for “the thrill of a lifetime,” given Vignola’s virtuosity. After all, no less a guitar authority than Les Paul named Vignola one of his “Five Most Admired Guitarists” in a piece for The Wall Street Journal.

Vignola is also a renowned guitar teacher who has made good use of technology in order to reach the widest possible audience, said Boga, noting the University Jazz Band currently boasts a very talented student guitarist, as well as a very accomplished alumni guitarist who resides in the area. Both will be featured with Vignola during the concert. 

“There are performers who teach and teachers who perform, but there are only a handful of people at the top of both fields. I like to call them artist-teachers,” she said. “They are as committed to one as they are the other, and as accomplished in one as they are the other. Frank is definitely one of those people. He’s known all over the world as a performer, and his commitment to teaching is unparalleled.”

Vignola, who The New York Times once called “one of the brightest stars of the guitar,” has collaborated with a staggering list of music heavyweights, among them Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, the Boston Pops and the New York Pops. He’s played thousands of engagements, and his genre-spanning music has taken him to 15 countries and three continents.

A familiar presence on NPR and public television, Vignola hosted his own PBS special, “Four Generations of Guitar,” with Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Craven and Tommy Emmanuel. He has recorded more than 30 CDs and seven DVDs, and has been a guest performer on hundreds of recordings.

As an educator, he has written and produced numerous books, CDs and videos. He maintains a rigorous private teaching schedule, and conducts clinics, masterclasses and workshops at conservatories and music schools throughout the world. Recently, he coached the guitar ensembles at The Juilliard School.

Vignola last visited the University in 1996 when he served as one of the composers and guest performer for Scranton’s 13th Annual World Premiere Composition Series.

For further information on the concert, call 570-941-7624, email music@scranton.edu or visit scranton.edu/music. For more information on Vignola, visit frankvignola.com.

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