entertainment

Q&A: VINNY "VIN A." ADINOLFI III

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BY BROCK RADKE 
FEBRUARY 8, 2019

Consisting of father Vinny Adinolfi, his sons Nicky and Vin and their high-energy backing band, the Bronx Wanderers trekked from New York to Las Vegas in 2016 and immediately began building a reputation for one of the most rollicking rock shows on the Strip. Covering everything and everyone from Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons to Bruno Mars, BW’s 90-minute sensation outgrew its first Vegas home at Bally’s and has relocated to The Linq, taking the stage at the Mat Franco Theater six nights a week. Las Vegas Magazine's Brock Radke caught up with singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Vinny “Vin A.” Adinolfi III to find out where this unique, genre- and era-spanning act is going from here.

You’ve been performing in Las Vegas for more than two years, but how long have the Bronx Wanderers been the thing for you?

Since birth! I’m just kidding. The Bronx Wanderers started in 2006 with my brother and I and my dad and his friends. He got a bunch of cool people from the neighborhood to do the band with us, guys from the Earls and the Regents and the Tokens. My brother and I were the only two young dudes. We started progressing and were eventually playing 250 dates a year, just always on the road, and the guys never got to see their families where we were lucky because we were with our family. So they had to leave. But I told my dad, don’t worry about it, Nicky and I had our own band. So now it was a 50-year-old musician going on the road with a bunch of 18-year-olds and everybody loved it.

And you eventually decided you wanted to do a show in Las Vegas. Why was that so important?

Mainly it was for my dad. I was young and had no idea of the whole Vegas thing, but I liked the idea of having people come to you as opposed to you going to them. Dad was a record executive for 30 years and he looked up to Wayne Newton and the Rat Pack and Tom Jones and it was his dream to be one of those guys. We had no idea it would work out. I’d ever seen my dad so excited as when he’d get on that elevator at Bally’s every day and Wayne Newton was in the same elevator going to do his show. He was just, “Can you believe this? Do you kids even know the gravity of this?”

You just moved the show into the larger Mat Franco Theater at The Linq. It’s a big move.

We’re excited and nervous about it. The team (at The Linq) told us, “Just do what you’re doing. You’ve earned this.” And Mat Franco couldn’t have been cooler. That kind of support has been a calming force. And we’re adding a bunch of new stuff to the show, new screens, new costumes and adding a lot of new moments to the show. We can’t wait for people to see this new installment.

There’s so much energy at that property right now. Does the excitement from other new features at the Linq carry over to you guys?

Oh yeah. They just added that new zipline (The FlyLinq) and it’s bringing a ton of people and there’s a new convention center under construction. It’s a really cool location right between Harrah’s and the Flamingo which is kind of our demo, but we’ve got a bunch of young guys in the band and we’re hoping more young people will come to the show. My whole goal with Bronx Wanderers is to get an age group from 8 to 88, to have something for everybody. It’s not an easy task but when you do it right, it’s so rewarding.

What about adapting off the stage? Do you feel you’ve become a real local Las Vegan?

I immediately fell in love with Las Vegas because there’s so much going on musically. It’s not like anywhere else. But I’ve definitely been able to do some fun stuff when I have time. I really like going to Giada and having a nice glass of wine. I’m pretty tight with Anthony Cools and he brought me to Axe Monkeys (an indoor axe throwing range). One of my favorite things out here is Musashi, this really cool (teppanyaki) restaurant that’s open until 4 a.m. This town is a lot like New York where everything is open 24/7, it’s just a lot more chill. New York has that anxious vibe where people are rushing around even when they don’t need to be somewhere.

Keg Tapping w/ The Bronx Wanderers!

By: Sam Wagmeister

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For the first time ever, Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas hosted a keg tapping of its holiday beer on Saturday, Dec. 2. Tapping the keg of the limited edition Hofbräu beer were The Bronx Wanderers, who took over the Hofbräuhaus stage with a live performance that brought everyone in the beer hall to their feet. The celebrated top-notch band, who perform nightly at Bally’s Las Vegas, treated guests to a medley of treasured Four Seasons tunes, followed by Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”

While every day may be Oktoberfest at Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas, the city’s most authentic Bavarian experience also offers the most fun venue in Las Vegas to celebrate the holidays this year. The beer hall offers a unique entertainment experience 365 days a year, with live bands on the stage nightly, who, in addition to traditional German/Bavarian music, will perform holiday classics throughout the month of December.

And, be sure to enjoy a traditional German meal with special menus on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, including Glühwein, a German Christmas tradition featuring mulled wine with Christmas spices; Split Pea Soup with Frankfurter Sausage; Gebackener Tortenbrie (Brie cheese breaded and fried golden brown served with salad bouquet and cranberries) and more.

About Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas
The Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas is the first German/Bavarian beer hall and restaurant in Las Vegas which creates a true Bavarian beer hall experience that is even more than a dining adventure. No ordinary restaurant, Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas is an energetic party daily, with authentic German bands, boisterous sing-alongs, dancing in the aisles and on the benches, and premium Hofbräu beer. From its hand-painted ceilings and live bands to its imported beer and delicious food, Bavarian hospitality abounds. Guests can savor schnitzel, sausages, sauerbraten, pretzels and so much more.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas at 702.853.BEER (2337), visit HofbrauhausLasVegas.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

The Bronx Wanderers Celebrate First Anniversary of Rocking on the Las Vegas Strip

VegasNews.com 

The Bronx Wanderers celebrated their first anniversary of performing at Bally’s Las Vegas. Since opening on September 22, 2016, the most energetic show on the Las Vegas Strip has performed more than 360 shows for over 70,000 fans. 

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Seven nights a week at 6 p.m., the trio, Vinny and his two sons – Vinny “The Kid” and Nicky “Stix” – flanked by their top-notch band, effortlessly bring to life songs from the beginning of Rock ‘N’ Roll right through today’s greatest hits. The best 90 minutes of America’s Rock ‘N’ Roll songbook on the Las Vegas Strip has attracted fans from all over the world, who flock to see the group perform hits made famous by the likes of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Dion, the Beach Boys, Queen, Bruno Mars, Coldplay and many others.

Celebrity fans who have been spotted at the show include the Four Seasons’ own Tommy Devito and Joe Long, Joey Dee, The Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Jay & The Americans, the cast of Menopause The Musical including celebrity guest star “Laverne & Shirley’s” Cindy Williams, Wayne Newton, Clint Holmes, Frank Marino and the cast of Divas Las Vegas, Travis Cloer of Jersey Boys John Payne from the band Asia and more.

When reminiscing about the past year, Vinny says, “One of my favorite memories is when Wayne Newton himself walked on stage during the show on my birthday and gave me a duplicate of the gold bracelet that Frank Sinatra had given Wayne on his 35th birthday. I remember him putting the bracelet on me and telling me that there are only three of those bracelets in existence – Frank’s, his and now mine. Wow!”

If anything rivals The Bronx Wanderers’ passion for playing music on stage, it is their drive to help others in the Las Vegas community. Working with Win-Win Entertainment, the group has becoming actively involved with the Miracle League, a program that provides individuals with cognitive and/or physical challenges the opportunity to play baseball in a safe and nurturing environment.

“It has been such a joy to see people from all over the world, in their 20s into their 80s, coming to the show over the past year. By the end of the show, everyone is jumping to their feet, clapping and dancing along with the music!” said Kathi Glist, one of the show’s producers. “Not only are we proud of how successful the show has been, but also of how The Bronx Wanderers have been welcomed into the Las Vegas community and have given back by volunteering their time to various local organizations.”

THE BRONX WANDERERS TAKE OVER UNLVINO!

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Las Vegas loves a party. And Las Vegans love to support worthy causes too. UNLVino guests were able to “take a sip for scholarship” with generous food tasting opportunities on March 30 through April 1, 2017 at the highly anticipated three night annual event in support of UNLV's  William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.

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UNLVino  continued its tradition of recognizing hospitality industry leaders with the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence. Bar Rescue” star Jon Taffer, who is headquartered in Las Vegas, was honored by UNLV hospitality students during UNLVino “Take a Sip for Scholarship” event. There are three opportunities to support UNLV students and enjoy spectacular events.

Returning to Paris Las Vegas’ ballroom, UNLVino’s time-honored Grand Tasting will delight guests with an unrivaled collection of premium beverages as the weekend’s main event indulges guests with delectable cuisine from UNLV’s culinary students and celebrated Vegas restaurants. Special guests The Bronx Wanderers made an appearance and absolutely killed the performance! Who knew what a little wine and some great music could do to a crowd. Dancing and hollering went way into the night. 

UNLVino was cofounded in 1974 by the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, the two organizations which continue to sponsor it today. Over the past four decades, UNLVino has raised several million dollars for scholarships and other academic developmental needs of UNLV students. ]UNLVino is differentiated through hands-on student experiences at all levels of event planning, execution and promotion, as well as the impactful funds raised each year – all testaments to the celebratory weekend’s broader purpose – scholarship.

THE BRONX WANDERERS CELEBRATE SIX MONTHS AT BALLY'S LAS VEGAS

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"If you liked Jersey Boys, you will LOVE The Bronx Wanderers!" (Sam Wagmeister, The Vegas Voice), was the first of many favorable media reviews that The Bronx Wanderers have received.

After touring the country over the past 12 years, The Bronx Wanderers have found their home in Las Vegas, with more than 200 shows over the past six months under their belt at Bally's - Las Vegas.

Fans and critics alike have been charmed with the best 90 minutes of America's rock 'n' roll songbook on the Las Vegas Strip. The Four Seasons' very own Tommy Devito and Joe Long became very emotional while watching The Bronx Wanderers perform some of the songs that made them famous and that eventually created the Jersey Boys phenomenon.

Seven nights a week at 5:30 p.m., the trio, Vinny and his two sons — Vinny "The Kid" and Nicky "Stix" — flanked by their top-notch band, effortlessly bring to life songs from the beginning of rock 'n' roll right through today's tunes.

Nearly 30,000 guests, traveling from every corner of the world, from Australia to Alaska, have enjoyed The Bronx Wanderers perform hits made famous by the likes of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Dion, the Beach Boys, Queen, Bruno Mars, Coldplay and many others.

To say that The Bronx Wanderers have devoted fans would be a huge understatement. Many fans return to see the show again and again, including one couple who has seen the show 36 times. Additionally, a group of fans from Chicago, who call themselves "The Front Row Ladies," have visited Las Vegas four times since the show opened, always sitting in the front row donning their Bronx Wanderers logo t-shirts. Women in particular love the group – especially Vinny "The Kid," who has received marriage proposals from women ages 18 to 88.

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The show has also been a magnet for some of entertainment's most iconic names including Tony Orlando, Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, Joey Dee, Gary Lewis and Jay and the Americans. Fellow Bally's Las Vegas headliner Wayne Newton even made an appearance when he surprised Vinny in the middle of the show by pretending to be a waiter and bringing him a drink on stage, hearkening back to the days when he and Elvis played pranks on each other.

If anything rivals The Bronx Wanderers' passion for playing music on stage, it is their drive to help others in the Las Vegas community. Working with Win-Win Entertainment, the group has becoming actively involved with the Miracle League, a program that provides individuals with cognitive and/or physical challenges the opportunity to play baseball in a safe and nurturing environment.

“IT HAS BEEN A DREAM COME TRUE TO GET TO PERFORM ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP OVER THE PAST SIX MONTHS,” SAID VINNY. “IT’S BEEN AMAZING TO MEET AUDIENCES FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND EVEN THE WORLD. BY THE END OF EACH SHOW, PEOPLE IN THEIR 20S INTO THEIR 80S ARE ALL JUMPING TO THEIR FEET, CLAPPING AND DANCING ALONG WITH US. WE HAVE LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF LIVING AND PERFORMING IN VEGAS AND LOOK FORWARD TO BEING HERE FOR MANY YEARS TO COME!”

"We are so proud of what The Bronx Wanderers have been able to accomplish since they opened last September," said Kathi Glist, one of the show's producers. "In addition to more than 200 successful shows, they have been embraced by the local Las Vegas community and have given back by volunteering their time to various organizations. Furthermore, they have been asked to perform for several key events in the city, including Chinese New Year at The LINQ Promenade, as well as a summit for more than 400 Caesars Entertainment executives from around the world."

"The Bronx Wanderers have been a great addition to our entertainment lineup at Bally's Las Vegas," said Damian Costa, Caesars Entertainment vice president of Las Vegas entertainment operations. "They have been welcomed graciously into the Las Vegas community while notably standing out in the entertainment landscape due to their enormous talent."

ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD...

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"THANKS ONCE AGAIN GUYS FOR YOUR AWESOME SERVICE TO MIRACLE LEAGUE OF LAS VEGAS." - THE MIRACLE LEAGUE OF LAS VEGAS

The games are played with soft, foam balls and foam or plastic bats, on a soft, spongy playing surface, allowing special needs individuals to enjoy physical and mental stimulation, and build greater self-esteem. Recently the Bronx Wanderers have been the kids and adults favorite people to see at the games! Opening day was on March 18th, where Vin A. and Big Vinny got to throw the opening pitch! Not only that, but they also got a special performance from Vin A. singing the song "Uptown Funk".

The Miracle League of Las Vegas gives players a sense of team pride and inclusion just like their able-bodied peers that play the game of baseball. 

THE BRONX WANDERERS LOVE LAS VEGAS....

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...and Las Vegas loves The Bronx Wanderers.

Vin A. visited a local elementary school to celebrate Nevada Reading Week. Comedic juggler Jeff Civillico, through his Win Win Foundation, helped place local celebs in the schools to share their talents and times with the kids. You simply visit a classroom, read a story or 2 to the children, and talk a bit about your career and field some questions if you like. It’s super fun, and very rewarding.

Some other readers included: Monica Heuser of Menopause the Musical; Win Win Board Member Sue Mirman, Singer Skye Dee Miles, Vita Drew of Menopause the Musical, Win Win Founder and Chairman Jeff Civillico Pamela Carlston of St. Judes Ranch, Win Win Advisory Board Member Diahann Hall, Magician John Rotellini, Monica Direnzo of Caesars, Stephanie Arone of Activity Planners, Win Win Board Member Beth Dandy, Magician Xavier Mortimer, Natalie Shipman of Vegas Theatre Hub, Vin A. of the Bronx Wanderers Stacy Spahle of WeAre.Vegas, Win Win board president Debbie Lucas Bingham.

"So happy to have been a reader for Nevada Reading Week! Went to 4 classrooms at Mountain View Elementary and read to the kids and talked about my life, working hard, and accomplishing your dreams ... A little girl even gave me her pencil because she liked me so much. Thank you WIN WIN for this opportunity!" - Vin A. 

THE BRONX WANDERERS: ON THE BIG STAGE GIVING BACK

By SAM WAGMEISTER

The Bronx Wanderers joined some of Las Vegas royalty on the Big Stage at the Orleans Casino in the Penn and Teller Showroom for the 2016 Headliners Bash. The 5th Annual Headliners Bash, conceived by juggling funnyman Jeff Civillico, is a fundraiser that raises money for on-going programs that benefit hospital patients, senior care residents, special needs children and adults and veterans and military families.

Also performing were Larry Edwards as Tina Turner (of Frank Marino's "Divas"), the acrobatic kids of Social CirKISH. The Vegas Tenors, comedian Jason Hewlett, the Lon Bronson band, the casts of "Menopause the Musical" and "Baz - Star Crossed Love" and Clint Holmes. Receiving the award as "Entertainers of the Year" were producers Kathi Glist and Alan Glist and the cast of "Menopause the Musical" for their charitable work. The Glists also produce The Bronx Wanderers' show. 

THE BRONX WANDERERS AT BALLY’S KEEPS IT ALL IN THE FAMILY

By ROBIN LEACH
NICHE DIVISION OF LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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It’s a family affair when Vin Adinolfi takes the stage of Windows Showroom at Bally’s because his sons Nick on drums and Vin III on keyboards belt out the hits for Dad to sing and accompany with his rhythm. The trio who make up The Bronx Wanderers for their new show are joined by Joe Barui on sax, Joe Bonasorte on lead guitar and Jeff Saltzberg on bass guitar.

Vin Sr. told me: “The band started with my two kids and myself and a few of my friends. Our original sax player was one of The Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and the other was a guitar player who was an original member of The Earls (“Remember Then”). Doing up to 225 one-nighters a year took a toll on them and also took them away from their families.

“My kids had their own band of friends from high school who I knew from always being in our house. The kids invited me out one night to play with them, and I asked if they wanted to tour and do this. I thought it would make for a fun dynamic. The old guy trapped with the kids and the kids stuck with the old guy.

“We are together as this unit almost 4 years. In 2002, we were doing oldies shows with members of Dion’s current band at that time. In 2004, we left and went out on our own as the family act you see today.” Vin credits Dion for his start. In the show, he refers to him as the group’s patriotic saint.

“I grew up in the same neighborhood as Dion and The Belmonts and Chazz Palminteri. Dion was close with our family, as my grandmother and Dion’s mother were distant cousins in the Campanella family. I know Dion since my crib. In our neighborhood even to this day, he is looked upon as our star who made it out of the neighborhood and is known worldwide.

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“Chazz, too, with ‘A Bronx Tale.’ I’m down the chain but have been presented awards by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and our New York senators. I went to the record label and told them I know Dion and I wanted a job, and they called him with me in the office saying, ‘There is some kid here looking for a job who says he knows you.’ He told them to hire me, and they did. I have seen him through the years and will forever be indebted to him.”

Vin began at the New York recording/music publishing company in 1977. “I have remained with them until this day. We are not operating as a full-blown label anymore, but we still license material for movies and TV. I am involved with that. The production company owners have always treated me as a son, and I do all I can to always help them out.”

For the last five years, The Bronx Wanderers have played South Point twice a year. Vin continued: “As a record executive, I knew we would have to have a game plan, so I had a 10-year plan. I told the boys if they work hard, someday we will get our own room in Las Vegas. To do this without a hit record would mean we would have to work twice as hard as everyone else.

“They agreed, and in the first five years, the plan was to play in the New York Tri-State area and establish ourselves as a serious act. I gave them a group to target and said I want to be on the level by year five. We got there in year four. The next phase was to travel across the country and establish ourselves as a national act.

“We went from Seattle to Miami and from Los Angeles to Massachusetts. We roughly play 225 dates a year with the most being a sit down for only three days. So lots and lots of traveling.” For as long as he can remember, Vin’s dream had been to have his own show here: “I’m a throwback. I always say I was born too late.

“I love Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Paul Anka, Tony Orlando and Wayne Newton. I always watched and studied them. They were who I wanted to be, and Las Vegas was where they worked.

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“In 1983, my wife and I stopped in Las Vegas from Hawaii on our honeymoon, and I took a photo in front of a marquee picture of Frank Sinatra and wrote the caption ‘someday’ on the picture. Just a few weeks back on Sept. 30 when we celebrated our 33rd anniversary here, I wrote in the card to my wife, ‘we finally did it!’ referencing that picture.”

Now The Bronx Wanderers are playing to packed audiences and getting standing ovations and loud cheers. Said Vin: “This is an amazing dream, and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t look up and say thank you for all that is happening to us. It’s an incredible opportunity in this amazing town.

“I almost can’t believe it. I keep waiting to be told to wake up, that this is all some sort of dream. I keep thinking back to when I looked at the kids and we were unloading all of our band equipment on a cold winter night, and I would be looking at them as they were 14 and 11 and wondered what kind of father am I making them do this?

“I never thought this would work, but I never stopped hoping and praying. I tell the kids all the time we have all of this because of the audiences who come to see us. Never forget that and each and every night, we personally thank all who come to our shows in our meet-and-greets.

“We are all humbled every night as audiences come to our show in a city where there are hundreds of choices. The next phase of that plan is to hope we will be here a long, long time.”

“Solid Gold Soul” is the other new musical at Bally’s, and we’ll take a look at that amazing tribute to Motown on Wednesday.