The Story of Storm Surge
A little over a year ago, my son Max was playing a short piano piece by 19th century composer Friedrich Burgmüller, called “The Storm.” The piece was stuck in my head because I would hear him practicing it every day. I started to imagine it as a rock power ballad and began to sketch out a slowed down version with the basic chord changes and structure.
I had no lyrics, but I showed it to my band and we laid down the rhythm tracks in May of 2019. Long story short, we got backed up with other projects and here we are a year later!
I was imagining a cello replacing the ostinato part played by the left hand on the piano, so I asked my friend Ruti Celli, who I met on Cruise to the Edge last year when we played with Dave Kerzner and In Continuum, to contribute her beautiful part.
Our drummer, Jason Gianni, has a sketch of a song he never finished that he thought would be a perfect fit as an insert to the song. I layered a huge string orchestra on top of that section and recruited the great Fernando Perdomo to lay down a soaring guitar solo.
Next, I was hearing a flute during the breakdown section that followed. We have never had a flute, or any woodwinds for that matter, on one of our recordings! I asked the genius multi-instrumentalist Rachel Flowers to play flute and lay down a piano track for the song. Rachel has been blind since age 3 and plays piano, flute, bass, guitar, drums, stick, sings, and records and mixes her own albums! I’ve meet and worked with hundreds of talented people in my career, but don’t think I have ever met a person with this level of talent! Check out the documentary about her, “Hearing is Believing,” on Amazon Prime.
Finally, I’ve been into the idea of using outside singers in Stratospheerius. Up until his time, I have always been the lead vocalist. The new album we are slowly putting together will have feature many special guests.
We’ve been longtime fans of the 80’s Canadian band “Saga,” bee known for their hits “Wind Him Up” and “One The Loose.” When we played the afterparty at Progstock back in 2018, Saga’s lead singer Michael Sadler caught our set after his performance at the festival, and was raving about the band! We were incredibly humbled to receive such words of encouragement from such an iconic artist in the world of prog.
We felt Michael’s voice would be perfect for this song! He ended up contributing a jaw-dropping vocal performance, enhancing the melody, and adding Queenesque harmonies. As a side note, he and his wife Gwen turned out to be some of the nicest and most gracious people I have ever worked with!
So in the end, the song is a writing collaboration between myself, Friedrich Burgmüller, Jason Gianni, and Michael Sadler.
Storm Surge is about the anxiety we all feel in these uncertain times. With the global pandemic, racism and the continuing struggle for social justice, climate change, political upheaval, economic turmoil, and a future of uncertainty, there is a storm that’s raging inside of us right now.
This Saturday, Stratospheerius will be live-streaming our first full band performance since March. Thank you to our friend Matt Vanacoro for letting us use his studio! The performance will culminate with the WORLD PREMIER of the STORM SURGE video!
You can purchase tickets for the event HERE:
And HERE is the Facebook event for ALL the performances in this series. We encourage you to support all of these renowned artists!
We hope you are able to tune in!
Stay safe and strong.
JD & Stratos
DENINZONEWS SUMMER 2020
All the news that’s fit to print about electric violinist/vocalist/composer/educator Joe Deninzon
It’s been a long quarantine. I hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy. I can’t tell you how much I miss performing for you all in person. The last public concert I have done was with Stratospheerius on Saturday, March 14th at our favorite haunt, Olive’s in Nyack, NY. It was the closing of a beautiful tour with our friends in Dark Beauty and Potter’s Daughter. As the pandemic was rising, every night we would take a vote about whether or not to keep going. In the end, the vibe between all the bands was so beautiful and even though people were scared and the shows were sparsely attended, those who did show up were deeply appreciative and showed us a lot of love. Though it seems like a long time ago, we are grateful that we all had that last hurrah before the quarantine.
In the meantime, being the constant workaholic that I am, here’s what I’ve been up to:
I was honored to give a bunch of livestream performances. The first two were in April for the Uncancelled Musicd Festival, organized by my dear friends Ann Rinaldi and Tom Palmieri from the Progstock Festival. In May, I performed live for an online radio show from the Uk called Beat Route Radio alongside many other wonderful prog artists. Thank you to Bob Prigmnore for including me. Last month, I had the privilege of taking part in an ongoing lunchtime livestream concert series for NY-area medical workers called “Music for the Soul.” I was nominated to perform by the NY Philharmonic, and the performance was hosted by AF of M Local 802 (the New York Musicians Union) and NY-Area Hospitals. It was an honor to be a part of a series that had also featured artists like Tony Bennet and Questlove.
Stratospheerius was “Band of the Week” twice on WRAT in my home state of NJ! Than you to Tom Hanley for interviewing me and featuring our music.
Stratospheerius new single, “Frame by Frame.”
Stratospheerius released our new single, a cover of King Crimson’s “Frame by Frame.” Featuring the usual suspects, yours truly on electric violin and vocals, Paul Ranieri on bass, Jason Gianni on drums, Michelangelo Quirinale on guitar, with special guest Val Vigoda on background vocals. Engineered by Rave Tesar (Renaissance) and mixed and mastered b y Rich Mouser (Spock’s Beard, Flying Colors, Sons of Apollo).
We also have another new song mixed and mastered with special guest vocalist Randy Mcstine. Hoping to have the next single released in September.
We are putting the finishing touches on our new video for the song Impostor, again teaming up with former MTV producer David P. Levin for this one. Here are some stills to wet your appetite. Stay tuned…
Joe Deninzon to Teach at 4 Virtual String Camps
As many of you know, teaching is one of my biggest passions, especially when it comes to sharing my love for all things related to jazz and rock improv, electric violin, extended techniques, and gear gear gear! With the current situation in the world, EVERYONE is going virtual. I’m psyched to be a part of this great movement, which has the potential to reach people all over the world more than ever before! I always try to see the positive in everything. So here is ALL the info:
Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp (Home Edition)
This camp is my heart. This will be my tenth year teaching at the camp that bears the name of the legendary electric violin pioneer who built my 7-string Viper electric violin, Mark Wood. This camp really feels like a family, both among the faculty and “repeat-offender” campers who come back year after year after year, and stay in touch throughout the year. I’ve seen kids grow up in this camp and become world-class professional musicians. My main class this year, “Flying Solo,” focuses on creating a solo performance in the age of quarantine, namely live looping and solo arranging. I am also giving a masterclass on Rock String arranging for trios, quartets, and string orchestras. If you are interested in this camp, please contact me and I can get you a $100 discount on tuition. My esteemed colleagues on the faculty include Dr. David Wallace, Chuck Bontrager, Mark Wood, Haydn Viterra, Greg Byers, Val Vigoda, Lila Hood, Nathan Blake, Laura Kaye, with special guest classes by Jordan Rudess (keyboardist from Dream Theater), Tracy Silverman, Alex DePue (Steve Vai), and Indian Violinist Dr. Mysore Manjunath.
Sign Up at WWW.MWROC.COM
Here’s a video from my faculty performance last year, playing a solo loop version of Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Cellestial Terrestrial Commuters.”
Here’s one of many faculty collaborations that happen when the camp takes place in Olathe, KS, performing “Seven Bridges Road”by the Eagles.
Strings Without Boundaries
Julie Lyon Lieberman has been a pioneer in the world of “alternative strings” for over 35 years, publishing over 15 books, recording numerous albums, and running Strings Without Boundaries in Nebraska. This year, I am honored to join the esteemed faculty in the virtual version of her camp, alongside David Wallace, Alissa Jackmnan, Chris Haigh, Vi Wikam, Andy Reiner, Katie Glassman, Tom Morley, Renata Bratt, Sarah Curro, and many more!
My classes here include:
“Survival for the 21st Century String Player.”
You can attend my classes or any of the classes offered by this esteemed roster at WWW.STRINGSWITHOUTBOUNDARIES.COM
July 29th at 12 PM E.S.T. I will be guest artist at the Virtual Englewood Dwight String Society Summer Splash.
Englewood Dwight is an amazing private school and summer camp in Englewood, NJ not far from where I live. They have a
world-class summer string program run by my friends violinist Analiessa Place and cellist Diego Garcia.
For More Information, VISIT THE WEBSITE
My friend Rudolf Haken, electric violinist/violist and professor at University of Illinois Champagne Urbana has assembled an all-star team of online clinicians to participate int he 70th annual Bayreuth Young Artists Festival, this year focusing on electric strings. I am honored to be joined by Tracy Silverman, Martha Mook, Dr. David Wallace, Earl Maneein, Marvillous Beats, Mark Wood, Jesus Florido, Naomi Tagg, Robb Janoff, Andy Reiner, and Edgar Gabriel in this killer collection of mini workshops:
I am excited to be teaching privately on this wonderful new platform created by my friend Jeremy Cohen. No matter where you are, if you want to study with me virtually and subscribe to get all the perks this website has to offer, sign up TODAY at www.stringmasters.com!
Bandcamp & Website
I have recently revamped and overhauled my website. Check it out at
In this difficult time, income for artist is severely limited, too say the least. It is next to impossible to make money from Spotify streams and youtube views, and public concerts are non-existent. Bandcamp is one of the few websites that compensates artists fairly for this products. My bandcamp includes digital downloads, CD’s, DVD’s, books, vinyl, and t-shirts. Please visit
WWW.JOEDENINZON.BANDCAMP.COM and complete your catalogue.
My original string quartet, “What’s That Thang?” was published by Ludwig Masters back in 2018. Thank you to the ASTA (American String Teacher’s Association) for this wonderful review of the arrangement.
ORDER from JW PEPPER!
You can see Sweet Plantain performing the song at 7:15 in this video:
Over the years, I have accumulated over 200 string arrangements of rock and pop tunes for duos, trios, quartets, and string orchestras with and without rhythm sections. Up until now, selling arrangements of copyrighted material was a nightmare of red tape and legal fees. Recently, Sheet Music Plus has made a deal with Hal Leonard, Alfred, and other publishers to make it easy for writers and arrangers to sell their arrangements online. One of my quarantine projects was to upload all of these songs I’ve had lying around for years and be able to sell them. These are perfect for string quartets looking for pop and rock music to play at weddings and high school orchestra teachers adding rock and pop music to their programs. I have 70 arrangements uploaded so far, with many more to come! Music by Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, Lizzo, Kansas, Smashmouth, Black Sabbath, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Ceelo, Glarls Barkly, the Beatles, Paul McCartney, DNCE, The Weeknd, Heart, Jimi Hendrix, ACDC, Michael Jackson, Queen, David Bowie, Rick James, and much much more…
OFF THE PODIUM PODCAST
Last month, I had the honor of being interviewed by conductor Tigran Arakelyan. We talked about music, our shared experiences as immigrants when we were young children, and my electric violin concerto. Check it out!
One more thing…
If you want regular unreleased material, more updates, musings about the world, personal performances, free swag, please JOIN MY PATREON! You can join for as Lowe as $5 per month and I’ll love you forever!
That’s it for now! Back to work. Good to keep working and not dwell on the negative. I hope we all come out of this healthier, wiser, and more tolerant and understanding of each other.
Peace and love!
Last month, I had the honor of being interviewed by the conductor Tigran Arakelyan. We compared our personal histories as childhood immigrants and talked about the present and future of music in these turbulent times. Check it out!