What comes to mind when a father, his two sons, and their three high school classmates get together and create a show? For starters, you can say a diverse recipe of hilarious personal stories, a vast repertoire of songs through multiple decades and genres, and one family’s journey together through life and music. The Bronx Wanderers pride themselves on being one of the only shows able to entertain grandparents, their children, and the grandchildren all in one sweeping musical tour de force. How do they accomplish this? Well, the generation gap between the band members (30-plus years) forces them to satisfy themselves musically, which in turn satisfies each and every audience they’ve encountered. The chemistry and energy they exert show after show proves they are still having the best time together on stage and you can tell they perform each show like it’s their first or last.
The show’s founder and patriarch, Yo’ Vinny, takes you on a musical journey through his illustrious career in the record business while working for Lifesong and Columbia Records since he was 17 years old. He’s worked with too many artists to mention, but what he says in the show is “each song you hear tonight, is someone I’ve either had the pleasure to produce, sing back up for, or worked with in the record industry during my 30 year career.”
For instance, you’ll hear songs by Dion and The Belmonts, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Billy Joel, The Animals, Queen, and even an artist or two from today’s generation. As they say in the band and in countless reviews, regardless of how old you are coming to the show, everyone leaves feeling like they’re 20 years old.
The Bronx Wanderers have been going strong for over 16 years and have amassed many accolades such as touring the entire country headlining festivals, PACs, and casinos, securing a permanent residency in Las Vegas from 2016 to the present, filling in for Frankie Valli in Dubai, being the first and only act to have opened for Tony Orlando and Danny Aiello, backing Dean Martin’s daughter, Deana, for multiple shows, performing the national anthem for the NY Rangers at Madison Square Garden and the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, and still managing to have time to volunteer and do charity benefits for the Win-Win Charity Organization, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and multiple Veteran’s and Armed Forces charities and galas.
As Yo’ Vinny always said to his sons “work hard and do well for others, and success will follow.” Well, it appears it certainly has and he was right. In the first two years alone of their Las Vegas residency, The Bronx Wanderers are a top ten show on Trip Advisor, received the “People’s Choice” Award from Vegas.com, received a 5-star Yelp Award, received the Bronze Award for “Best New Show” their first year (coming in third behind Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys), and got nominated in seven other categories in their sophomore year.
His two sons are no strangers to their own levels of success. His younger son, Nick, had the opportunity to drum and perform for Frankie Valli with the Chicago Jersey Boys cast and was even offered a role in Blue Man Group (but his father and brother just couldn’t let him go.) The older son, Vin A., who is the music director and producer for the group, is an accomplished songwriter and arranger, who recently got to open for Bon Jovi at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in front of 18,000 people with his original music. The two sons perform their originals together with their neighborhood friends and Bronx band mates, Joe Bari, Fernando Tort, and David Braun monthly at Las Vegas’ renowned “Composers Showcase” at the Smith Center (Las Vegas’ version of Lincoln Center).
The Bronx Wanderers certainly has an interesting, unique dynamic and has proven to be a long-lasting success in the ever changing entertainment business. They give the credit to their loyal fans and devoted followers, some of which have been with them since the beginning and have had the opportunity to watch the boys grow from 14 and 11 years old, to the seasoned professionals they’ve become today. The boys give the credit to their “Daddy-O” (and mother, Carol) for holding it all together through the good times and the “not so easy,” and the humble father now says in the show “I used to carry them, but nowadays, they are carrying me and I couldn’t be more proud.”