If you are already a fan of Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks like me, you’ll need no urging to see this new documentary by Dave Davidson and Amber Edwards. It opens at the Cinema Village in Manhattan today. For nearly forty years Vince has kept the music of the 1920s and 30s alive, leading an elite 11-piece band that plays original arrangements from the period with flair and precision. (Their current home is Iguana, a restaurant on 54th Street where you can hear them every Monday and Tuesday night.) He is also the man such filmmakers as Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese turn to when they want authentic sounds for their period pictures and TV shows.
Vince is a man obsessed, and we in the audience are the beneficiaries of his lifelong passion. But finding musicians who understand how this music was meant to be played and making a living doing it are herculean challenges, as we learn in Vince Giordano: There’s a Future in the Past. Hauling huge instruments and music stands and setting up the bandstand would be enough to discourage a lesser person.
If you’re not already interested in vintage pop and jazz music I don’t know if this documentary will transform you into an admirer, but I can’t get enough of it, and the film makes me admire Vince’s singular vision all the more. Watch the trailer HERE and see if you don’t start tapping your feet.