About Vincent

Born and raised in St. Louis, Vincent Varvel started playing music early on, studying piano, clarinet, and organ. He began playing guitar at age 16 and attended college at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, where he had the opportunity to perform with jazz greats such as Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, and Dan Gottlieb. He graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance.

Varvel began his professional career while in college, freelancing with many different performers in the St. Louis area. Since then he has toured the United States and Europe with various ensembles in addition to leading his own jazz group performing his original compositions. Recently, he has perfromed classical music with the Kingsbury Ensemble, Chamber Project St. Louis, and soprano Stella Markou. Pop and Jazz artists he has worked with include the Peter Mayer Group and Erin Bode, among many others. His original music has been heard on satellite radio and cable television. He is currently Instructor of Guitar at Washington University in St. Louis, along with maintaning a private teaching practice and performing regularly with his own group and as a sideman.

Listen to clips of Third Person


You can get Vincent's albums at the following online retailers:

CD Baby   iTunes   Little Flock Music


Pictures and Postcards



Third Person



Not a Creature was Stirring


Catch Vince live in a town near you!



Third Space Concert Series

Chicago, IL

In Concert with the John Erickson Trio at Lakeview Presbyterian Church.
716 W. Addison


Touhill Center at UMSL

St Louis, MO

In Recital with soprano Stella Markou


KindaBlue Club

St Louis, MO

Vincent Varvel Trio


Holmes Lounge at Wash U

St. Louis, MO

The Vincent Varvel Group in concert


Evangeline's Bistro

St. Louis, MO

Vincent Varvel Trio


Holmes Lounge at Wash U

St Louis, MO

Vincent Varvel Trio, featuring Eric Stiller on bass and Jerry Mazzuca on drums, in concert at Holmes Lounge on the Washington University campus at 8pm. Free admission https://ucollege.wustl.edu/jazz


Holmes Lounge

St. Louis, MO

The Music of John Abercrombie


The Dark Room

St. Louis, MO

The Vincent Varvel Trio

Showtime 9:30. Free Admission


Pillsbury Theater

St Louis, MO

Vincent Varvel Group In Concert

News from Vince

03.27 New Recordings on Soundcloud

I've posted three new tracks on Soundcloud for you to stream. These are improvised ambient duets with myself and drummer Steve Davis. You can check them out here:



03.29 Vincent Varvel Trio at Evangeline's

Very excited for the Trio to play Evangeline's Bistro on April 22nd. We'll be playing tunes from the new album along with our takes on standard favorites...Hope to see you there!

04.01 Inteview on St Louis Jazz Talk

Be on the lookout for my interview on WSIE 88.7's weekly show, St. Louis Jazz Talk, hosted by Dick Ulett and Mike and Rob Silverman. We cover a wide range of topics from influences, song titles, musicians, and some VERY ancient history. The show will air in a few weeks. "Stay Tuned"

04.06 Scott Yanow's review of Third Person

Noted Jazz historian and author Scott Yanow has written a review of Third Person:

Vincent Varvel
Third Person

Vincent Varvel, who is based in St. Louis, is a guitarist with his own sound and approach. An Instructor of Guitar at Washington University who has worked locally with many top performers, he had led two CDs prior to his recent Third Person.

This set, which teams the guitarist with drummer Steve Davis and bassist Ben Wheeler (with Eric Stiller playing bass on two songs), consists of ten of Vincent Varvel's originals. He displays a subtle and thoughtful style that is filled with inner heat. The close interplay between Varvel and his sidemen is a major feature of the music for, although the guitarist is usually in the lead, his bassist and drummer make strong and significant contributions to the improvisations and the ensembles.

Third Person opens with "The Plaza After Rain," a peaceful and at times hypnotic ballad that picks up momentum as it goes before ending with a hint of where it had started. "Picture This" is a complex song that is also surprisingly accessible due to its dancing feel. The melodic piece features Varvel's singing tone and attractive clear notes on the guitar along with a brief but effective bass solo. "Once And Again" is moody yet relaxed, melodic yet not overly predictable. It swings gently with Varvel's quiet passion recalling Jim Hall a little in spots.

The jazz waltz "Third Person" is a bit introspective while swinging at a slow-medium tempo. "Savoir Faire" has the trio playing a bit funky. The catchy piece, which is danceable, features Varvel's guitar sounding assertive and the trio showing how tight they are. It is followed by the atmospheric "Dusk."

"Side Step" is one of the hottest pieces of the program and also contains some of the most adventurous playing with some fairly free improvising. "Hourglass" is a bit of a contrast, a thoughtful ballad on which Varvel's often out-of-tempo playing almost sounds as if he is speaking aloud. "Two Too Many" gives the musicians a chance to jam a bit on a medium-tempo blues. Concluding this memorable outing is the melancholy "Without You."

Due to its subtlety and quiet creativity, the easily recommended Vincent Varvel's Third Person grows in interest with each listen.
Scott Yanow

04.23 New album now available on CD

Third Person is now available on CD from Little Flock Music. The first 10 orders placed will recieve a signed copy!


05.25 Summer Dates in Chicago!

Very excited to be performing in Chicago for the first time in ages! I'll be doing a series of concerts with my good friend and pianist John Erickson. Dates are July 16, 17, and 12 2016. Check the Tour Dates section for more information. John's website: http://johnerickson.net


Very excited to report that I've completed tracking for a new album of solo acoustic guitar arrangements of classic songs. Mixing has begun and the album should be finished in the next few weeks, and tentatively scheduled for release in January 2019.

Get In Touch

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(314) 560-5634