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Vince Giordano: Celebrating the Past in the Present

Video interview with the swing bandleader taped at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival

Musicians, including Vince Giordano, in scene from Boardwalk Empire

During the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival, JazzTimes set up a make-shift video production studio backstage inside the old barracks of Fort Adams. During two afternoons, a succession of artists-including Jack DeJohnette, Jason Moran, Theo Bleckmann, Christian McBride, Linda Oh, Donny McCaslin, Dafnis Prieto, Ingrid Jensen, John Ellis, Darcy James Argue and several others-came in to talk about the festival, jazz education and their own projects. We have been posting these interviews at You can also see more of these video interviews from the Newport Jazz Festival (in 2011 and 2012), as well as from the Jazz Cruise, at the JazzTimes YouTube channel.

In this interview from the Newport Jazz Festival, Vince Giordano, guitarist and leader of the Nighthawks swing band, talks about his early musical education and development, and how he fell in love with swing and early jazz music. He also discusses why he thinks the music of the past still resonates with audiences today. And he explains how he came to contribute music to The Aviator, Boardwalk Empire and other movies and TV series.

Vince Giordano on his first musical instrument, his first paid gig and falling in love with swing:

Vince Giordano on working in film and television and on appearing at the Newport Jazz Festival for the first time:

Video by Melissa Mergner. Audio by Jen Kim.

Originally Published