The son of a jazz singer learned as a child jazz percussion and studied music theory at McGill University. His first band he founded at the age of twelve, the next - Jacksonville 5 - a year later with his brother Joe Vannelli. At the age of seventeen he published at RCA Records under the pseudonym Van Elli the single Never Cry Again.
In the early 1970s he went with his brother to the United States, where he became acquainted with several albums on A & M Records. With its influenced by rhythm and blues and jazz songs he performed the opening act for Stevie Wonder and was the first white musician who appeared on the show Soul Train.
With the release of the album Gino Vannelli Powerful People 1974 was recorded 22 on the Billboard charts in the U.S., thanks to the single '' People Gotta Move '' his first hit #. Finally, the breakthrough came in 1978 with the album Brother To Brother and the single I Just wonna stop. The album was recorded in the spring of 1979 with platinum, the single reached number 4 in the U.S. and Canada in the top of the charts. The 1981 released album Nightwalker was another hit # won 6 with living Inside Myself and went gold. After a creative break appeared in 1984, the album Black Cars. With the homonymous single and the second decoupling Hurts To Be In Love Gino Vannelli was the first time in Germany a few radio hits land to create the big breakthrough without however. The most successful single in Germany in 1987, Wild Horses from the album Big Dreamers Never Sleep.
1990 could be Vannelli in Portland (Oregon ), where he built his own studio and founded a record label. 1995 and 1998 he published two jazz - oriented albums for Verve Records. Then he took singing lessons and turned to classical music. The album Canto (2003) had success especially in Europe. Finally, in 2006 appeared the pop album These Are The Days. He has worked for his albums with musicians and arrangers such as Niels Lan Doky, Don Sebesky, Herb Alpert, Jimmy Haslip and Ernie Watts.
- Crazy Life 1973
- Powerful People by Richard Baker, Tony Golia, Lani Hall, Graham Lear, John J. Mandel, Joe Vannelli, 1974
- Storm at Sunup with Donald Bailey, Richard Baker, Jay Graydon, Graham Lear, John J. Mandel, Sergio Pastora, Jerome Richardson, Sally Stevens, Joe Vannelli, Ross Vannelli, 1975
- The Gist of the Gemini with Richard Baker, Nyboma Mwan Dido, Jay Graydon, Graham Lear, John J. Mandel, John McCarthy, Joe Vannelli, Ross Vannelli, 1976
- A Pauper in Paradise with Nyboma Mwan Dido, Jay Graydon, John J. Mandel, Bill Meyers, Chris Rhyne, Joe Vannelli, 1977
- Brother to Brother with Manolo Badrena, Mark Craney, Victor Feldman, Leon Gaer, Jimmy Haslip, Carlos Rios, Stephanie Spruill, Julia Tillman Waters, Joe Vannelli, Ross Vannelli, Maxine Willard Waters, Ernie Watts, 1978
- Nightwalker with Dave Boruff, Vinnie Colaiuta, Brad Cole, Michael Fisher, Mike Miller, Doug Parry, Stephanie Spruill, Neil Stubenhaus, Julia Tillman Waters, Joe Vannelli, Ross Vannelli, Julia Waters, Maxine Willard Waters, 1980
- Black Cars with Mark Craney, David Garibaldi, Jimmy Haslip, Lori Leiberman, Mike Miller, Joe Vannelli, Ross Vannelli, 1985
- Big Dreamers Never Sleep with Lisa Fischer, David Garibaldi, Jimmy Haslip, Maxayn Lewis, Mike Miller, Marc Russo, Marilyn Scott, Alfie Silas, Joe Vannelli, Ross Vannelli, 1987
- Inconsolable Man with Mark Craney, Cara Lee Day, Kevin Dorsey, David Garibaldi, Phillip Ingram, Mike Miller, Rick Nelson, Rocket Ritchotte, Michael Ruff, Alfie Silas, Joe Vannelli, Kirk Whalum, 1990
- Live in Montreal with Richard Beaudet, Maxayn Lewis, Mike Miller, Enzo Tedesco, Joe Vannelli, 1991
- Yonder Tree 1995
- Slow Love with Louis Biancaniello, Randy Cannon, Phil Dwyer, David Garibaldi, Tom Grant, Tracey Harris, Jimmy Haslip, Phillip Ingram, Maxayn Lewis, Margaret Linn, Lori Perry, Randy Porter, Ramon Stagnaro, Sam Watters, George Whitty, Rachel Z, 1998
- Canto with Daniele Bonaviri, Janet Chvatal, Fred Korman, Glenn Morley, Phil Neumann, Randy Porter, Joe Vannelli, 2003
- These Are the Days with Paul Brainard, Lisa Hansen, Margaret Linn, Ross Seligman, 2006
- A Good Thing 2009