Paying homage' at Jazz in Caz

One of the band's fans, Kentucky-based graphic artist Danielle Bennignus, loves the fact that Vince and his musicians love the music.

"The Nighthawks' arrangements are of historic quality," she says, "and the music is handled with great respect, not treated in a mawkish way at all. This wonderful band really knows what they're doing, and it's very clear that they have a real love for this incredible music."

Last month, Eagle Newspapers interviewed Vince Giordano by e-mail.

Q: Could you please name a few tunes and the personnel you're expecting to use on Sept. 25 in Cazenovia?

A: Here's the band. We'll be eight pieces from the 11-piece band we normally have:

Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Jim Fryer (trombone), Mark Lopeman and Dan Levinson (reeds),

Peter Yarin (piano), Ken Salvo (banjo/guitar), Rob Garcia (drums), and myself, Vince Giordano (tuba/bass sax/stand-up bass/vocals).

We will be playing Ellington, Bix, Goodman and others from the 1920s/30s!

Q: How many Jazz Age charts have you collected?

A: I have more than 40,000 arrangements: published stocks, originals from bands and then new transcriptions that my musicians and I have made of old records.

There's also my 28,000 piano sheet music collection, more than 10,000 silent-picture music scores and 1,200 piano rolls here! Space IS the final frontier!

Q: Do you have a favorite or most valuable rarity?

A: Probably a 1928 hand-written arrangement by Harold Arlen of "The Man I Love." He not only scored it but copied out each part for each musician and wrote personal jokes on each part too!

Q: Although your band plays from charts, there's plenty of improvisation as well. What is the Nighthawks' philosophy regarding improv?

A: The Nighthawks have many arrangements in our book where the musicians can play their own solos and then there are many arrangements where the original solos are written out.

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