Vince Tuzzi grew up in a small town just west of Hanford, California called Lemoore. His mom was a single parent and while she was at work, his grandmother, who owned a saloon and restaurant, would take care of him there at the bar.
While the jukebox played, Vince (then 3 or 4) would pantomime to artists like Johnny Raye, Elvis, Ray Price, and whoever the many patrons chose to listen to. He credits his vast repertoire to that early exposure to so many different types of music.
Throughout the 60s he continued to listen to all types of music and in 1965 auditioned for the role of lead singer for a band that would later be called Lee Riders, singing the Kingsmen (Louie, Louie) song, Jolly Green Giant.
Vince got the gig and has began his professional career, playing all around the San Joaquin Valley from Fresno to Bakersfield. He often played for promoter Mel Simas who owned a company called Melco (Mel & Company). Everyone in the San Joaquin Valley was familiar with the Melco dances on the weekends. Way ahead of his time, Mel Simas was booking acts like The Road Runners out of Fresno and The Hunted out of Laton, California. These dances called Melco dances still go on though Mel has since passed away.
A move to Santa Cruz in the early 70s found Vince playing solo gigs with just him and his acoustic guitar a no-name, 12 string, great sounding guitar that he played at rest homes, weddings, wineries and corporate parties.
Many of the styles he continues to play today were those ingrained in years ago songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Jimmy Buffet, John Prine and Leon Redbone, to name a few.
He continues to play music on a regular basis and has recorded two CDs, Down Home Cruzin with Tuzzi" and "Nine Years Later" - a live performance at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA, with a new CD in the making due out this 2009 Holiday Season.
CDs are $15 each (includes shipping and handling).
Please contact Vince for ordering instructions or for booking information.
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Jeff West is a fellow uke player who has written about Vince in his "Humble Uker" blogsite. To read what he has written CLICK HERE.