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Salt Lake City audiences are being treated to having the Utah Symphony perform all nine Beethoven symphonies this season. But they likely didn't expect that the work of Ludwig van Beethoven would also show up in a jazz concert.
Frank Vignola will perform the second concert of the GAM Foundation's 2011-12 JazzSLC season, the first at the Capitol Theatre.
The 46-year-old virtuoso guitarist has a long history of paying tribute to his heroes and musical inspirations, including George and Ira Gershwin, jazz fusionists such as Pat Metheny, and, most recently, the late great Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. The versatile Vignola performed selections from his most recent album, 2010's "100 Years of Django," with his band during the local series' 2010-11 season.
Vignola's next album will blend classical music works with jazz, so audiences can expect to hear some of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and other classics during the guitarist's return to Salt Lake City.
Because of a busy United Kingdom concert schedule, Vignola answered questions via email.
With a packed performance schedule all over the world, do you ever get to rest? And how do you make sure you are energetic for each performance?
Well, we perform over 200 shows a year. I do rest when I am home, although with four kids I don't know if you would call it rest. Playing music for people is very invigorating, so as tired as I sometimes feel, as soon as I get out in front of an audience the energy just seems to flow.
Last season we heard your tribute to Django Reinhardt. What did you learn about yourself and your music from paying tribute to him?
Django and Les [Paul] were my biggest influences when I was a kid learning guitar. I played along with their records constantly. I learned that without their influence as a kid I wouldn't be doing what I am doing or playing the music I play. I feel almost responsible to keep their music alive.
What do you plan on including in your set here, and what future projects are you planning?
We will perform Mozart, Beethoven's Fifth, a tribute to Django and Les, Simon and Garfunkel and Rimsky-Korsakov. Basically I love to play melody and love great memorable melodies so I always try to play great melodies. We have a new record being released in the late summer of 2012. This I am excited about. It is my first release in quite a while, so I am curious how the public will take to new arrangements of Beethoven.
Whom are you bringing with you for the concert, and what do they bring with them in terms of chemistry, talent and spirit?
Julien Labro, the great accordionist; Zach Brock, the extremely gifted violinist; Vinny Raniolo, an incredible rhythm guitarist; and iconic bassist Jon Burr, who I am extremely excited to play with again. The spirit of the musicians is at the highest level. They are obviously extremely talented and gifted, but their love of performing is what I like about them. They all really enjoy playing the repertoire as well. They are just the best that I could find.
P Frank Vignola and the Virtuoso Band perform.
When • Monday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m.
Where • Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City
Tickets • $25 at 801-355-ARTS or arttix.org. Student general admission tickets are $10.