You’re out to authentically conjure the age of the flapper. First things first; let’s set the scene. The first world war has ended, prohibition is in full swing, the stock market is booming, automobiles are taking the country by storm and there’s a hot new sound everywhere – Jazz. The music of the 1920’s so definitively characterized the spirit of the times, that historians alternatively refer to it as “The Jazz Age”. It goes without saying that any 1920’s themed event has to incorporate the sounds of the times. However, when it comes to finding a live band that does a truly authentic take on the 1920’s, you need look no further than Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks.
In 30 years as a bandleader, Vince Giordano has become the authority on recreating the sounds of 1920s and ’30s jazz and popular music. Giordano and his big band, the Nighthawks, recorded a series of Depression-era hits for the soundtrack of Martin Scorsese’s, The Aviator, ripping through instrumentals and serving as the back-up band for singers like David Johansen and Rufus Wainwright. “I just love the energy of the early jazz,”says Giordano, 53. “I wanted to recapture some of that.”
Early appearances on Prairie Home Companion and in the movie The Cotton Club led to work in half-a-dozen Woody Allen films, including Sweet and Lowdown and Zelig. His diverse musical involvements also include backing up Madonna doing a striptease in Bloodhounds Of Broadway, and working with such varied institutions as the New York Philharmonic and Leon Redbone.
While he doesn’t call people “Pops” of wear vintage duds, Giordano is obsessive about musical authenticity in resurrecting heroes like Bix Beiderbecke, Fletcher Henderson, and Jelly Roll Morton. The Nighthawks use period instruments and arrangements, and play solos transcribed from the original recordings. Even the Kellogg microphone that carries Giordano’s Astaire-like baritone is an antique spring-suspended beauty.