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Studio Sessions from KNKX Public Radio feature some of the best jazz and blues musicians. Performing from downtown Seattle, we feature artists such as Arturo Sandoval, Gregory Porter, Christian McBride and more! KNKX thanks Jim and Birte Falconer for their support of studio sessions and a free, independent and energetic press, who urge listeners to get involved in their local community, and to support KNKX.

Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo: 'Better than caffeine'

Justin Steyer
Vinny Raniolo (left) and Frank Vignola performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios on May 30, 2013

Frank Vignola is well-known as one of the most amazing guitarists on today’s jazz scene. Five years ago he hooked up with a young, extremely accomplished guitarist named VinnyRaniolo.

Since then they’ve worked together in a number of different group configurations but they’re at their best when it’s just the two of them, each armed with an acoustic guitar and a great desire to have a good time.

And that’s exactly what they do in this studio session with jazz host, Abe Beeson.

They begin with a lovely arrangement of It Might As Well Be Spring. Then they up the ante with a mash-up of Tico-Tico and (of all things) a very souped-up version of the old rock ‘n roll classic, Apache.

That was just for openers.

After that, they served up a medley of Classical music and topped it all off with their barely controlled version of Flight Of The Bumblebee that host, Abe Beeson said was better than caffene.

And it all swings like crazy.

Watch, or listen above to experience these two stunningly gifted guitars players having themselves a ball. You will too.

You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.  The link can be found here:


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Justin joined KNKX in 2009 as the station's first Multimedia Manager. In this role, Justin helped to produce multimedia content, and implement systems and procedures in efforts to transform KNKX from a traditional broadcast station into a multi-platform media organization.
Abe grew up in Western Washington, a 3rd generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.
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