Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Interview with Joe Deninzon

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Joe Deninzon has been hailed by critics as “The Jimi Hendrix of the Violin,” because of his innovative style on the electric seven-string violin and his compositions combining jazz and rock with Gypsy influences. A musician who transcends many genres, he has worked with Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Phoebe Snow, Everclear, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, Smokey Robinson, Robert Bonfiglio, and Les Paul among many others. He has also performed as a solo electric violinist with the New York City Ballet and has performed, co-written, and musically directed the of Broadway show, “Spider Dance” with percussionist Alessandra Belloni.

Joe is the lead singer and violinist for the band Stratospheerius, who have just released their 5th CD, “The Next World” on Steve Vai’as Digital Nations label , and were named “Best Jam Band” in the Musician’s Atlas Independent Music Awards. He can be heard on over a hundred CD’s and jingles as a violinist and string arranger.

A 12-time BMI Jazz Composer’s grant recipient and a winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, his original music has been used on CMT, MTV VH1, Comedy Central, National Geographic, the Travel Channel, the History Channel, and most recently, the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay-produced film “Virginity Hit.”

Joe has released a CD with his acoustic Jazz Trio, entitled Exuberance, which mixes the style of Stephane Grappelli with covers of Radiohead and Alice in Chains. He also recently joined the Sweet Plantain String Quartet, which combines classical, jazz, hip-hop, and Latin styles. An active clinician, Joe has taught rock violin at Mark Oconnor’s String Camp and Mark Wood’s Rock Orchestra Camp, and made repeated appearances performing at the Grand Canyon Music Festival, where he co-founded the Grand Canyon School of Rock. He has recently published a book on electric violin techniques for Mel Bay Publications, entitled “Plugging In.” Joe holds Bachelor’s degrees in Violin Performance and Jazz Violin from Indiana University and a Master’s in Jazz/Commercial violin from Manhattan School of Music. Joe holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University and a Master’s from Manhattan School of Music.

“As at home in the world of Grappeli and Oconner as he is in the world of Steve Vai and Jimi Hendrix, Joe Deninzon may very well be our next national violin treasure!!”
-Jedd Beaudoin

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