Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Vince began his odyssey into the world of music at the age of five. The discovery of a slew of 78 rpm records in his grandmother’s attic ignited the flame. He began music on the violin but switched to tuba in the 7th grade, then added the string bass and bass saxophone. He joined the musicians union at age 14 and started playing with Dixieland banjo bands around Long Island.
Big-band historian and collector Vince Giordano has more than 60,000 scores in his collection. Vince Giordano and his band The Nighthawks are renowned on the New York scene for their commitment to preserving and authentically presenting 1920s and ’30s jazz and popular music.
He became interested in the music of Bix Beiderbecke and studied with Bill Challis, the legendary arranger for the Paul Whiteman and Jean Goldkette Orchestras. Vince joined the 22-piece Navy Show Band after high school. Then toured Europe with Eddie Davis, played in New York with Tony Parenti and Max Kaminsky, and toured with Clyde McCoy.
In 1976 Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks (originally known as the New Orleans Nighthawks) was formed. His band has been booked for black tie galas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the Waldorf Astoria, the Rainbow Room and many private parties. Vince has also been invited to perform at the Smithsonian, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Jazz Festivals around the world.
Early appearances with Leon Redbone and A Prairie Home Companion and lending his talents to Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Cotton Club, led to working with Dick Hyman’s Orchestra in half a dozen Woody Allen soundtracks, then as a bass player in Sean Penn’s band in Woody’s Sweet and Lowdown. He and band were featured in Gus Van Sant’s film Finding Forrester; in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator; Robert DeNiro’s film, The Good Shepherd; Tamara Jenkins’ film, The Savages, Sam Mendes’ films Revolutionary Road and Away We Go, along with Michael Mann’s film Public Enemies.
Other recording projects include soundtracks for HBO’s—Grey Gardens and Martin Scorsese’s upcoming HBO’s series Boardwalk Empire, premiering on Sunday, September 19th.
Also a big-band historian and collector, Giordano has more than 60,000 scores in his collection. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks are renowned on the New York scene for their commitment to preserving and authentically presenting 1920s and ‘30s jazz and popular music.
Currently, Vince and The Nighthawks can be heard every Monday and Tuesday evening at Sofia’s Restaurant (downstairs / Club Cache) at 221 W. 46th St. between 8th Ave and Broadway, (ph 212-719-5799), adjacent to the Hotel Edison in Times Square NYC.