Vito's lounge offers live jazz, blues and lounge singers almost every night of the week. Please view our calendar for a current list of performances and dates, make be sure to reserve a table for larger groups. All of our entertainment is free, and with acts like these, it is always best to arrive on the early side.
Musicians looking to perform at Vito's should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben von Wildenhaus
Ben von Wildenhaus performs a mostly instrumental music that New York Music Daily has described as “transcontinental noir.” He has been compared to guitarists like Marc Ribot, Sir Richard Bishop and Sandy Bull, though his live show can evoke the intentional awkwardness of Neil Hamburger. Using an electric guitar, textless vocals, found audio and just about anything that can produce a tone, Wildenhaus produces, both live and on record, a seamless amalgam of Egyptian film music, Berber desert guitar, American folk melody, and avant-garde minimalism.
Raised in the Pacific Northwest and refined in New York City, Wildenhaus has a diverse CV that includes Northwest heavy dudes Federation X, country nomads Juanita Family and Friends, and the City University of New York’s Middle Eastern Ensemble. He performs at Vito's with saxophonist and guitarist Jon Sampson (Bar Tabac, Shoddy Prototypes), drummer Andy Piper (Sugar Sugar Sugar), and bassist Jeff Gray (Dusty 45s).
The Brad Gibson Quartet
The Brad Gibson Quartet performs music that embraces the American Songbook. Utilizing well known jazz standards, Brad Gibson and his fellow musicians engage in an exploration of song that beckons the listener to come closer.
Featured performers include some of the Northwest's finest musicians: Ryan Burns, Denney Goodhew, Geoff Harper, Jeff Johnson, Tim Kennedy, Brian Kinsella, Stuart MacDonald, Chris Symer, Mark Taylor, Hans Teuber. . . .
Michel Navedo and Brazil Novo recreate the era of classic Bossa Nova for fans of Tom Jobim, Joao Gilberto, and Caetano Veloso. On the trumpet, Puerto Rican born Michel Navedo evokes a mellow, soulful tone. If you can imagine Chet Baker singing in Portuguese, Spanish, and English backed by an incredibly talented group, this is what it would sound like!
“Brazil Novo provides Seattle with access to the city of Rio de Janeiro in the ’50s and ’60s” — Charles Mudede, The Stranger
Casey MacGill croons classic tunes in a style encompassing blues, ballads, and boogie. His piano weaves a spell of smoke-filled joints where little dramas played out to the sounds of tinkling keys.
Casey is a native of Los Angeles, grew up with folk music, surf, 60's pop, and eventually the blues. He attended the Monterey Pop Festival, saw icons Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, blues artists Paul Butterfield, Junior Wells, Albert King, and the blues became the cornerstone of his musical style. He majored in music at Pasadena City College and Cal State LA, studying with jazz greats Gary Foster, Warne Marsh, and Buddy Collette.
MacGill performed on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, the Gong Show, and the movie Frances with his trio Mood Indigo. Casey was featured in the Broadway musical Swing, opening the show and writing five songs.
Casey currently plays in the group the Blue 4 Trio, on ukulele and cornet, in addition to piano, and occasionally Roy Kay's Red Hot Rhythm Club. He particularly enjoys his solo turn at Vito's for the chance to help create the ambience of a vintage cocktail lounge with his music.
You may not know her name yet, but we're betting that won't be the case for long. This young Tacoma-raised singer has the sort of powerful pipes that tend to stun chatty bar bar crowds into silence. Her voice ranges from tender to towering as she covers popular songs by artist Joe Cocker to Adele to Amy Winehouse giving her own soulful flair…
The James Band
The James Band plays everything from Proud Mary to Miles Davis' All Blues to original compositions like Vito's Theme, a funky throwback sounding tune, an homage to the late 70's. Its a rotating cast of characters including bassists Paul Gabrielson and Nate Omdal, drummers Jeremy Jones, Max Wood, Matt Jorgensen, and Brad Gibson and Brian Bermudez on tenor sax...he always seems to make the gig!!
Since her arrival to Seattle in 2008, international jazz vocalist Jennifer Kienzle has emerged as a singer adept at conveying a direct and honest interpretation of the American songbook. Jennifer's playful lyricism and beautiful, pure tone pull her listeners in to the stories she sings. Jennifer and her musicians alike enjoy creating music in the moment. The songs you hear will be unique and never to be heard the same way again.
Pianist, Jerry Zimmerman, has been a mainstay in Seattle for nearly 50 years. It was during his 30 plus years at Canlis, that he was named by the Seattle Weekly as “Seattle’s Best Piano Bar.” That was when he was doing what he loves to do most, including aspiring and professional singers in the mix. They covered the gamut of opera, jazz, showtunes, contempoary and classical. That, plus his seemingly effortless transitions from request to request has made him “one of the busiest working musicians in the area with an extensive following.” (Eastside Guide) This is currently the scene at Vito’s, where he plays for many multi-talented singers.
A graduate of O’Dea High School, Seattle University, and Cornish School of Music (scholarship), Jerry has been blessed with the lifetime ability to earn a comfortable living and raise a family doing what he loves most, playing the piano. His influences include both friends and contemporaries: Erroll Garner, Dave Brubeck, George Shearing, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Peter Nero, Vince Guaraldi and Bill Evans.
Jimmie Herrod Trio
This small, intimate ensemble features Jimmie Herrod on Voice and two of Seattle's finest instrumentalist Jason Goessl on Guitar and Mark Taylor on Saxophone. The group pulls together a set list of early Jazz Classics and put a refreshing spin on them with their unique instrumentation and musical stylings. Herrod has built a name for himself as a vocalist and songwriter around the city. He currently plays in a number of different settings/groups, most recently joining the group Richie Aldente led by Seattle based pianist and composer, Tim Kennedy.
Johnny Astro is a surf/lounge band from Seattle, Washington formed in 1997 by guitarist Mark Bombara. They perform and record instrumental surf, lounge, ’60s spy and movie soundtrack music and originals. The band combines the talents of guitarist, song writer and band leader Mark Bombara, drummer Shane Peck, guitarist Mark Romanowski and bassist Noah Wilson and sometimes joining them is saxophonist Marty Jourard.
Jovino Santos Neto
Three-time Latin Grammy nominee Jovino Santos Neto, a master pianist, composer and arranger, is among the top Brazilian musicians working today. Currently based in Seattle, he has throughout his career been closely affiliated with the Brazilian master Hermeto Pascoal. He was an integral part of pascoal’s group from 1977 to 1992, where he fine tuned his artistry, performing around the world and co-producing several legendary records.
Jovino’s personal style is a creative blend of energetic grooves, deep harmonies, telepathic improvisation, lyrical melodies and great ensemble playing, always inspired and informed by the colorful richness of Brazilian music. His compositions include samba, choro, balao, xote, forro, marcha and many more styles, rooted in centuries-old musical tradition and pointing towards new and adventurous harmonic languages. He currently teaches piano and composition at Cornish College of the Arts.
The Italian Bombshell is back in Seattle and claiming the lounge at Vito’s as her personal playground. She drinks, flirts, tells stories, and sings all of her father's Italian favorites, interspersed with novelty numbers from Africa and classic jazz standards. The daughter of a Sicilian meat cutter and a cool blonde Norwegian beauty, Julie grew up in Seattle’s multiethnic Ballard neighborhood and was raised on her parent’s records. ” There was music playing constantly in my house. My parents played all the great singers on their stereo — Frank Sinatra, Jerry Vale, Dinah Washington, Mel Torme. It was bombarded into my psyche. I didn’t have any choice.”
A native of the Pacific Northwest, saxophonist Kareem Kandi has been performing on the scene for years, gaining attention from both critics and audiences alike. Kareem attended Cornish College of the Arts where he studied composition and performance from some of the greatest jazz musicians in Seattle WA. Currently his band plays a mixture of originals and arrangements of standards which cover many styles ranging from jazz, funk, rock, blues, and ballads. When not leading his own group Kareem can be seen and heard performing with many other top notch bands in the Northwest, most notably The Paperboys from Vancouver B.C. For more information visit: kareemkandi.com
Kaylee Cole is currently wandering around Seattle singing happy/sad songs and playing the piano. When she's not singing her own songs she can be seen singing with the likes of Widower, Nick Jaina, the Seattle Rock Orchestra, Portland Cello Project and many other Pacific Northwest favorites. In January 2012 City Art's Magazine said "No matter the sound of the music in Seattle's future, Kaylee Cole will be singing along to it". Which is true. Because Cole loves singing and because she is lucky enough to live in a city with amazing musicians and an infinite amount of tasty licks to sing along to. If you are a fan of feelings, jokes, things that are old but seem new, things that are new but seem old, people that vaguely resemble Chloe Sevigny, good times, great oldies, fate, accidents, space and time then you will most likely be a fan of Kaylee Cole.
It's hard to imagine a band called Lushy being anything other than fun. Keyboard/sax/flute/drums player Andy Sodt freely admits the group was created around cocktail lounge culture. He and guitarist/bassist Matt Nims met in the early '90s when they played ska together with the Tiny Hat Orchestra. They knew vocalist Annabella Kirby from the local music scene and, in 2000, roped her into a recording project in Sodt's basement. For two years, Lushy was a studio-only project. "We just never came out of the basement," says Kirby. "We were making all these songs until one day I was like, 'What are we doing? We have to play this for people!'" Marrying spacey, "cocktail-y" sounds from the '60s and '70s with their own offbeat attitude, the band sounds like a vinyl record you might find propped on Austin Powers' mini bar. Even though they've been at it for a decade now, there's a newness in their music that makes you feel like grabbing a drink and seeing where the night goes.
Lushy photo credit: Haley Young
Michael Owcharuk Trio
The Michael Owcharuk Trio brings you old and new standards, originals, and new takes on modern rock/pop tunes in a piano jazz setting. With Nate Omdal-upright bass and Max Wood-drums, Michael's trio conjures a classy, urban, and energetic sound that is just as much influenced by Bill Evans and Miles Davis as by Alice In Chains and the Pixies. They are a perfect rainy Seattle cocktail night soundtrack.
The New Triumph
Comprised of some of the best players from Seattle's World/Jazz/Funk scenes, The New Triumph plays an energetic, eclectic and original mix of Funk,Latin and Jazz music. Members include Camilo Estrada (bass), Scott Morning (trumpet), Arie Pytel (guitar), Adam Kessler (drums), Ivan Galvez (percussion) and Marc Hager (keys). Their new album 'Starship Estrada' can be streamed, downloaded, and bought at www.thenewtriumph.bandcamp.com
Prom Queen's sound is cinematic, vintage and dark: drawing comparisons to classic artists such as the Roy Orbison, Nancy Sinatra and Loretta Lynn as well as contemporary artists such as Cat's Eyes, Lana Del Rey, Broadcast and Dirty Beaches.
After the success of her debut album "Night Sound" in 2012, Prom Queen went from a solo project to a band: with Ben Von Wildenhaus, Tom Meyers and Jason Goessel joining the fold. Prom Queen is currently creating a second album called "Midnight Veil" and has chosen to release it on DVD as a music-video film. It will be a watchable album of 12 interwoven music videos, each with their own style. The project was successfully funded on Kickstarter in September and is currently in production, set to be released in Spring of 2014: kickstarter.com
Rik Wright’s Fundamental Forces
Rik Wright’s Fundamental Forces is an innovative collective of modern progressive jazz players who have developed a rich library of original repertoire that is hauntingly beautiful, thoughtful, and evocative. Their performances effectively pull together the two extremes of acoustic and electric jazz without sacrificing the crystalline character of either.
Group leader Rik Wright has taken his love and passion for the guitar to just about every corner of the State of Washington and parts of British Columbia, Oregon and Idaho. Rik has been listed in the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 King County Touring Arts Roster, a juried directory of the State of Washington's very best performing artists.
His recordings have been in recent rotation on the Uptown Jazz Network, Indie 104 Los Angeles, KEXP, KSER, KAOS, KBCS, KPLU, Indie Guitarist, and mvyRadio Local MusiCafe, among others. Wright’s efforts have been generously supported by funding grants from the Seattle Arts Commission, King County Arts Commission, 4Culture and the Jack Straw Foundation.
Ron Weinstein Trio
You might have heard Ron Weinstein play with Combo Craig or Crack Sabbath, but this straight-up trio of piano, stand up bass, and drums is jazz reminiscent of the late 50's and early 60's New York style. It is one of the most energetic jazz gigs we have at Vito’s and you really can’t help but smile at the whole affair.
Spend an evening with Ruby as she performs classic ragtime, standards and oldies.
rudinoff/garrison photo by michael doucett. ruby bishop photo by mark harrison /the seattle times
Synthesis discovers the music they play in the moment that they play. Performing a masterful, electro-acoustic brand of music, Synthesis strives for a purity of expression that is highly engaging and very listenable.
What makes Synthesis excel at their craft is the diverse array of experience each of the members brings to the table, coupled with their shared love of improvised music. The group features Brian Kinsella on keyboards, Steve Kim on electric bass, Denney Goodhew on percussion and Brad Gibson on drums, whose collective significant national and international experience erupts once the first note chimes.
Photo credit: Jennifer Kienzle
In a salute to Vito's Italian heritage, we are proud to present The Tarantellas, a traditional Italian Mandolino/Guitar duo, and their festive and loving tribute to "The Legendary Favorite Songs of Italy". Richard Sclafani holds forth on the bowl-back Neapolitan Mandolin, a little work of art in itself, with a unique sound that has often been described as the heart and soul of Southern Italy. Pete Cicero's antique Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar provides the perfect complimentary sound, spotlighting the gorgeous chord progressions and unique rythms of this festive and contagious style of music. The final ingredients: some virtuoso Chromatic Mouth Organ, the ancient call of a Sicilian Friscalettu Flute, and tight-as-you-can-get Harmony Vocals! (Hint: Bring your Sweetheart, and upon request, the Tarantellas will perform a romantic tableside serenade just for you.) Viva Italia!
Tim Kennedy TrioTim Kennedy is a Seattle based pianist and composer. He can be found on any given night performing jazz, pop, or gospel around town. A lifelong student of jazz Tim has toured all over the world performing this music. He currently is the front man for the pop dance outfit Richie Aldente, and leads the electric jazz trio Gravity.
The Wally Shoup Quartet
The Wally Shoup Quartet brings its own film noir soundtrack to Vito's each time they play. Torch songs, blues ballads, Beatles and classic jazz tunes are filtered through a Lynchian prism by way of Sun Ra and John Coltrane. Led by the soulful, deep-toned alto sax of Wally Shoup and the fluid virtuosity of pianist Gust Burns, the quartet is equally at home casting a sultry spell or lifting off into the sonic spaceways. Bassist John Seman and drummer Mark Ostrowski round out this exceptional group, propelling the music forward with their subtle and compelling rhythmic stylings.
Yada Yada Blues Band
Kate Olson Ensemble
KO ENSEMBLE is a rotating cast of Seattle’s best jazz and creative musicians, including Tim Kennedy, Samantha Boshnack, Naomi Siegel, Robby Beasley, Simon Henneman, Chris Icasiano, Eric Eagle, Wayne Horvitz, Geoff Harper, Andy Roth, Chris Credit, Evan Flory-Barnes, and Michael Owcharuk. This is Kate’s most straight ahead jazz project, and her compositions are heavily influenced by the music of Thelonious Monk and Steve Lacy, as well as the compositions of her contemporaries in the Seattle music scene. KO ENSEMBLE has many incarnations, from duo to sextet.
A mix of Improvisational Gospel, Funk and Krautrock, Afrocop’s trio has been crafting its own brand of fusion for years in the greater Seattle Metro Area to reach other unknown musical landscapes and terrain.
Bar Tabac deftly veers between pulsating exotica and tortured ballads without ever losing their sensuous warmth. The deep baritone guitar melodies from Jonathan Sampson, the mercurial drum echoes from Andru Creature and the lyrical bass lines from Aaron Harmonson combine to create refreshing interpretations of Movie Themes from the ’60s and ’70s as well as Sampson’s own haunting tunes from film soundtracks recorded in Paris, London, New York and Seattle. At Vito’s their performances may be worthy of your undivided attention, but they truly relish being enjoyed as the ideal background music for fine cocktails and sordid conversations.