by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Nicole Rork

Turn Up the Jukebox!

When he was a small boy growing up in El Cajon, Vince Hanvey became inspired. He used to watch his father jam with buddies around the campfire, playing classics from greats like The Eagles, Jimmy Buffet, and Johnny Cash, and that experience led him to pick up a guitar when he was 13 years old. “I had it in my mind from a very early age that I was going to be a guitar player!” he laughed. And so he is. Vince Hanvey’s first official playing gig was at Pounders in Escondido back in the late 1980s. Nowadays he’s living in San Marcos and loving the schools and atmosphere. He can play the guitar, bass, ukulele, and drums, but the guitar is his favorite. His musical influences (after the campfire) developed from electric guitar rockers like Jimi Hendrix, Uli John Roth of the Scorpions, and Angus Young of AC/DC.

He later hit a personal stride in the 1980s and gravitated toward the heavy rock and roll of that time. He also developed a great respect for country/rockabilly guitarists, along with Spanish-style guitar. “I am always looking for some new style or technique to learn from,” Vince explained. “I think it’s important for a musician to keep trying new things.” His band Jukebox is rockin’ San Diego these days, performing regularly at weddings and corporate events.


These days, Vince is not just a performer – he’s also a teacher. “Teaching is a great love of mine, and I think I have always done it,” he said. He has taught hundreds of children and adults to play guitar or improve their playing abilities. His daughter Samantha is an accomplished player, and she was one of his first students! Vince joked that his wife and daughter Arissa only play the stereo but has hopes his son Isaac will develop an interest.

Vince’s love for the guitar makes him feel completely immersed and undistracted. “I feel connected to it and the music I’m playing.” When asked for fun facts about him, Vince shared his relationship with his “super smart and totally lovable Maltypoodle, Sasha” and added, “Gosh, well, I can juggle and sing exactly like Johnny Cash and rap like Eminem.” If you’re looking to learn some guitar or just enjoy listening to it, look for Vince Hanvey.

Meet Vincent

Name: Vincent M. Hanvey
Profession: Music Teacher, Owner of US Music Lessons, Professional Musician
Community: San Marcos since 2008
Hobbies: Surfing, swimming, hiking, writing, playing music
Favorite Local Spots in San Marcos: SoCal Coffee, Love Boat Sushi, Moonlight Beach, Belly Up Tavern