By Leilani Roberts Ott
TAHLEQUAH — Bringing extraordinary technique and stunning virtuosity to the stage, guitarist Frank Vignola opens the spring season of the Galaxy of Stars Series, presented by the Sequoyah Institute, at Northeastern State University
The concert is at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts, 605 N. Grand Ave. NSU students are admitted free.
“We are really excited to have an artist of this caliber at NSU,” Anita Thompson, director of the Sequoyah Institute, said in a media release.
Vignola is one of the most celebrated guitarists performing today — the choice for many top musicians including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops and guitar legend Les Paul. The New York Times called Vignola “one of the brightest ... stars of the guitar.”
Born on Long Island and reared in the New York City area, Vignola started playing guitar at age 6 and grew up listening to many genres. The guitarists he admires range from Django and Les Paul to rock icons Frank Zappa and Eddie Van Halen.
In 1993, Vignola signed with Concord Jazz and recorded his first Concord session as a leader, “Appel Direct.” In 2007 he recorded a collection of Gershwin pieces for Mel Bay Records titled, “Vignola Plays Gershwin” which was No. 2 in NPR radio airplay charts.
VIgnola has performed hundreds of clinics and masterclasses at major universities and colleges throughout the world including Julliard and Boston University. At NSU he will lead a Beyond the Stage guitar workshop on at 3 p.m. today in the Jazz Lab. Admission is free and open to the public.
“Our students and guitar instructors are very familiar with Mr. Vignola’s talent and can’t wait to have the opportunity to work with him at our Beyond the Stage workshop,” Thompson said. "We hope others will take advantage of this unique opportunity.”
The Sequoyah Institute has made available a special mid-season ticket offer allowing admission to the three spring shows for the price of two. Rates are $40 for adults; $36 for NSU alumni and seniors 60-over; $32 for NSU employees and Alumni Association members; $24 for groups of 10-plus; $20 for students and children and $12 for NSU students with a valid ID.
Prices per individual ticket are $20 for adults, $18 for NSU alumni, $16 for NSU employees and seniors 60 and over, and $10 for students. Those presenting an NSU student ID are admitted in upper level seating for free.
Tickets can be purchased 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Woods House, 529 Seminary Ave.
The Galaxy of Stars series is made possible through the support of the Oklahoma Arts Council, Mid-America Arts Alliance and National Endowment for the Arts.
Reservations and information: (918) 458-2075.