February 18 – Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks

This concert took place on February 18, 2024.

Concert co-sponsored by Clark Group and Tower Laboratories, LTD.

Where and When:

Valley Regional High School
256 Kelsey Hill Road Road, Deep River, CT
Click here to view in Google Maps

Concert begins at 3:00 pm; outer doors open at 2:00 pm; auditorium doors open at 2:30 pm.
Accessible parking, entry and seating are available.


Concert Program:

JAZZ FROM THE 1920s AND ’30s

Selections to be announced from the stage.


Andy Stein: Violin / Phono-Fiddle / Baritone Saxophone
Joe Boga: Trumpet
Jon-Erik Kellso: Trumpet
Sam Chess: Trombone
Will Anderson: Alto Saxophone / Clarinet / Soprano Saxophone
Mark Lopeman: Tenor Saxophone / Clarinet / Soprano Saxophone
Peter Anderson: Alto Saxophone / Clarinet / Soprano Saxophone
Peter Yarin: Piano
Arnt Arntzen: Guitar / Banjo
Paul Wells: Percussion
Vince Giordano: String Bass / Bass Sax / Tuba / Vocals


Artist Biographies:

Andy Stein

Two-time Grammy winner Andy Stein has been called “a musician with a checkered past” by the NY Times. Mel Brooks once exclaimed, “Andy, that was surprisingly good!” after a solo on baritone sax. But he is probably best known as the “Powdermilk Biscuit Fiddler,” for 22 years on public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. As a jazz violinist he has recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Phil Woods, and others; while he has also worked with pop stars Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, and Lady Gaga; country legends Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson; and classical icons Placido Domingo and Joshua Bell. His orchestra music has been performed by ballet companies worldwide from Stockholm to Sydney and from Toronto to Tel Aviv, and by most Big City symphony orchestras in the US. He also created an opera with a libretto by Mr. Keillor, and scored films for Roger Corman and National Lampoon. Andy has played violin and sax in the Nighthawks since 1979 and is the oldest surviving member… so far.

Joe Boga

This New York City-based trumpeter has performed professionally in a variety of venues, from Carnegie Hall to Birdland, across the United States and abroad. Boga is a member of the legendary ensemble, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, specializing in music of the 1920s and 30s, and leads his own small ensemble, The Scranton Ramblers. In addition, he performs regularly with highly acclaimed artists and ensembles including Stephane Wrembel, Gordon Webster and his Band, the Kyle Athayde Dance Party, the Nate Sparks Big Band, Wycliffe Gordon, David Ostwald and the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, and many others. An avid educator, Boga has offered masterclasses and clinics nationally and internationally. In 2023 he will direct the Pennsylvania Music Educator Association’s All-State Jazz Band. Boga was a student of Wynton Marsalis and is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Jon-Erik Kellso

Since moving from Detroit to NYC in 1989 to join Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso has enjoyed performing with a wide array of musical stylists, including Catherine Russell, Dick Hyman, Levon Helm, Leon Redbone, and Wynton Marsalis. He can be heard leading the Ear Regulars at the historic Ear Inn in NYC on Sunday nights. His sound is recognizable in television and movie soundtracks, such as Ghost World, The Aviator, Bessie, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Boardwalk Empire for which The Nighthawks won a Grammy, as well as over 100 recordings including his most recent CD Sweet Fruits, Salty Roots.

Sam Chess

The most recent addition to Vince Giordano’s legendary Nighthawks, Sam Chess is a New York City-based trombonist and graduate of The Juilliard School. Sam has had the great fortune to bring his unique sound to the stage with a variety of artists, including Wynton Marsalis. He’s played venues large and small – from the Sydney Opera House and the Montreux Jazz Festival all the way down to backyard barbecues in Appalachia and parties on decommissioned ferries in Brooklyn. Sam is a native of Tucson, Arizona, where he attended the illustrious Tucson Jazz Institute. He is the grandson and great-nephew of Phil and Leonard Chess of Chess Records – a Chicago-based pillar of American culture via Jazz, Blues, Soul and Rock.

Will Anderson

Called a “virtuoso on clarinet and saxophone” (New York Times), Washington, D.C.-born Juilliard graduate Will Anderson has performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and can be heard on the 2014 Grammy-winning soundtrack of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks. Along with his twin brother Peter, Will has headlined at Carnegie Hall, The Blue Note, The Kennedy Center, Feinstein’s 54 Below, New Orleans Jazz Festival, and live on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion. The Washington Post called their music “imaginatively unfolding in ways that consistently bring a fresh perspective to classic jazz.” The Andersons have created, produced, and starred in seven sold-out off-Broadway productions at Manhattan’s 59E59 Theaters. More recently, they raised $25,000 to establish the Joe Temperley Juilliard Student Scholarship Fund and tribute album in honor of their late great saxophone mentor.

Mark Lopeman

Like several other Nighthawks members, reedman Mark Lopeman started with the band several decades ago. He has worked with dozens of other diverse big and small jazz bands, including those led by Buddy Rich, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Gerry Mulligan, Loren Schoenberg, Chris Byars, Buck Clayton, Bill Kirchner, Catherine Russell, Mel Lewis, Woody Herman, Gil Evans and John Lewis. Mark is also a noted arranger and transcriber of classic jazz recordings. He has contributed, often working with Giordano and other Nighthawks, to soundtracks for Finding Forrester, Ghost World, The Aviator, Boardwalk Empire, Kill Your Darlings, Carol, Mildred Pierce, Bessie, HBO’s Wizard of Lies, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Fosse/Verdon, The Joker and The Irishman.

Peter Anderson

A “virtuoso on clarinet and saxophone” (New York Times), Peter Anderson is one of the most extraordinary jazz woodwind players today. Receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard, he’s performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Wycliffe Gordon, Wynton Marsalis, and can be heard on the 2014 Grammy-winning soundtrack of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks. With his twin brother, Will, he’s headlined at The Blue Note, Kennedy Center, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Louis Armstrong House Museum, and live on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion radio program. The Andersons have performed in 40 U.S. states, Brazil, Japan, and the UK. They’ve recorded 10 albums, featuring musicians such as Kenny Barron, Paquito D’Rivera, Peter Bernstein, Ken Peplowski, and Jimmy Cobb. Peter and Will have lectured at over 100 high schools and universities including Michigan State, Ohio State, Florida State, Temple, Xavier, South Florida, and in Nagasaki, Japan.

Peter Yarin

Peter has been playing piano with Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks since 2004. A pianist and composer who immerses himself in both jazz and classical music, Peter has performed and recorded solo piano for many film/tv projects (recently: The Pale Blue Eye, Queen’s Gambit; Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as well as many recording projects with the Nighthawks (Boardwalk Empire, Killers of the Flower Moon; etc.). Peter has written two full-length musicals and performs in a variety of NYC venues, currently regularly leading a trio at Melody’s in Manhattan. He is a graduate of NYU.

Arnt Arntzen

Arnt is one of the most in-demand plectrum banjo and guitar players in the traditional jazz scene in New York City, where he has lived since 2017. In addition to leading his own trio, called Arnie and His Rhythm, he holds the guitar chair in both Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, as well as The Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, which performs weekly at Birdland Jazz Club. He and his brother Evan co-lead The Brothers Arntzen and are featured in Three Generations of Jazz with their grandfather Lloyd and parents Georgina and Tom. Arnt began learning music at a young age from his family and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz and Contemporary Guitar from Vancouver Community College in 2014.

Paul Wells

Paul is a drummer and educator based in New York City, who is currently touring internationally with Curtis Stigers. He is also a Professor of Jazz Drums at The Juilliard School, and a member of Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks. In addition, Paul has performed and/or recorded with Deborah Harry, Joe Williams, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Bill Charlap, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Randy Brecker, Mark Murphy, Kristin Chenoweth, and Houston Person. He was also featured on the soundtracks of The Irishman, The Joker, Boardwalk Empire, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and many others. You can also see Paul featured in a pivotal scene alongside Robert DeNiro in the 2017 HBO film The Wizard of Lies.

Vince Giordano, string bass/tuba/bass sax/vocals

Grammy-winner, New York native and multi-instrumentalist Vince Giordano has played in New York nightclubs, appeared in films such as The Cotton Club, The Aviator, Finding Forrester, Revolutionary Road, Cafe Society, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and for concerts at the Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Newport Jazz Festival and the 92nd St Y for nearly five decades. Recording projects include soundtracks for the award-winning Boardwalk Empire with vocalists Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, St. Vincent, Regina Spektor, Neko Case, Leon Redbone, Liza Minnelli, Catherine Russell, Rufus Wainwright and David Johansen. Vince and his band have also recorded for Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World, Tamara Jenkins’ The Savages, Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd, Sam Mendes’ Away We Go, Michael Mann’s film Public Enemies, and John Krokidas’ debut feature, Kill Your Darlings, along with HBO’s Grey Gardens and the miniseries Mildred Pierce. The Nighthawks are also seen and heard in the USA Network series Royal Pains and in the PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook, and many times with Garrison Keillor on A Prairie Home Companion. The band has also worked on Todd Haynes’ Academy Award-nominated film Carol; the Emmy-winning Bessie bio-pic on HBO, and Cinemax’s The Knick starring Clive Owen; and the Maggie Greenwald film Sophie and the Rising Sun, plus season one and two of the Emmy-winning series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel; Woody Allen’s Café Society starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart; a Barry Levinson film for HBO called Wizard of Lies, starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer; a historical drama called The Promise, directed by Terry George, starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac and Warner Brothers’ blockbuster film, The Joker. Vince also had a vocal in Martin Scorsese’s film, The Irishman. In the fall of 2020, the band released a CD recording with Loudon Wainwright III called, I’d Rather Lead a Band. In 2022, they recorded music for the film Don’t Worry Darlings starring Harry Styles. Most recently, Vince and the augmented Nighthawks are on the soundtrack and are on-screen in the new Martin Scorsese film (2023), Killers of The Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone.

Hudson West Productions feature documentary Vince Giordano – There’s a Future in the Past, opened in theaters in 2017. This is a brilliant documentary, which captures the triumphs and disasters involved in leading a band, plus the sheer amount of work involved… DVD’s available and can also be seen on Apple TV.

Giordano’s passion for music from the 1920s & 30s and the people that made it began at age 5. He has amassed an amazing collection of over 64,000 band arrangements and sheet music, 1920s’ and 30s’ films, 78rpm recordings and jazz-age memorabilia. Giordano sought out and studied with important survivors from the period; Whiteman’s hot arranger Bill Challis and drummer Chauncey Morehouse, as well as bassist Joe Tarto among others. Giordano’s passion, commitment to authenticity, and knowledge led him to create a sensational band of like-minded players, The Nighthawks. For nearly 50 years, Vince Giordano has almost single handedly kept alive a wonderful genre of American music that continues to spread the joy and pathos of an era that shaped our nation.