All the news that’s fit to print about violinist/vocalist/composer/ and all around nice guy, Joe Deninzon
Happy Summer! I can’t tell you how excited I am that live music is coming back! My two main bands, Stratospheerius and Sweet Plantain, are finally getting back to the stage. Sweet Plantain is finalizing some shows in upstate NY, Stratospheerius is performing our first live gig in over a year at a private event on August 7th, and is about to announce a show at our favorite bar, Olives in Nyack on September 24th with Mile Marker Zero and Ad Astra. There will be shows booked in Manhattan as well. Expect another email blast real soon.
THE EDUCATION STATION
IN addition to performing, teaching is a deep passion of mine. I am fortunate to be a part of the revolution that is currently sweeping the world of string playing and string education. The goal is to break string players out of the limited scope that a strict classical education will bring. To prepare string players to be fluent in multiple styles of music, familiar with technology, social media promotion, and know how create your brand and function as a successful small business. With 23 years of experience as a busy freelancing violinist in New York and having earned Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in music, I KNOW the divide that exists between what you learn in a music conservatory and what you really need to know in the real world! I am involved in a number of amazing online educational opportunities in the “multistyle/alternative/whatever you wanna call it” string universe.
I am psyched to teach my Rock 101 group lessons on Stringmasters.com! We will learn about the basics of rock (power chords, blues and pentatonic scales, song construction), write a song together, work on improv, talk about gear, and explore how to chart out a song, create your part, and be a successful functioning string player in a band. Acoustic and electric players are welcome! Classes are June 16th, 23rd, and 30th at 7 Pm EST.
I have been teaching privately on the Stringmasters platform for the past year. This is a great resource where you can archive all your lessons. The small group lessons they are offering are for up to 5 people. More intimate than a large class. The price is only $150 for three lessons! It’s like getting three lessons for the price of one! Here is the breakdown:
Lesson 1: We learn about power chords, how they are the building blocks of rock and can be used as a foundation for thinking harmonically and learning songs. Then we blast through songs by Blink 182, Ramones, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The White Stripes, and more! I also introduce the blues and pentatonic scales.
Lesson 2: Building a riff: We write a song together using pentatonic/blues riffs and power chords. We also explore soloing using pentatonics.
Lesson 3: What is your role as string player in a rock band? When do you play in the song? How do you build a cool part without getting in the way of the singer? We talk about charting out a song, creating a roadmap for your part, where to play and lay out. We also talk about gear and stage presence.
The class is almost full, so if you’re a violinist, violist, or cellist with a classical background who wants to dive into the ocean of ROCK, this class is for you!
Julie Lyonn Lieberman is a living legend in the world of string education. I am honored to teach at her virtual String Summit for the third time, alongside an all-star cast of colleagues; Jeremy Kittel, Chris Haigh, Chuck Bontrager, David Wallace, Vi Wickam, Jeremy Cohen, and more!
I will be teaching and co-teaching four “Deep Dive” classes:
Thursday, July 8th. 9 AM-12:30 PM EST
“Soloing with Pizzaz” with Julie Lyon. Lieberman
Learn some tricks and schticks to make your solos more dramatic and more interesting. Learn to “get out of your own way” and become a successful improvisor.
Friday, July 9th. 9 AM-12:30 PM EST
“Rock & Pop String Arranging”
Saturday, July 10th. 9 AM-12:30 PM EST
“Rock Strings” with David Wallace
Sunday, July 11th 9 AM-12:30 PM EST
“Looping and Special Effects” with Chuck Bontrager
For the 11th year in a row, I have the honor of teaching at the camp run by the legendary Mark Wood, the man who designed my weapon of choice, my 7-string fretted Viper electric violin. This camp usually takes place in Olathe, KS, but once again we have decided to go virtual this year. I will be co-teaching an arranging class with Dr. David Wallace, head of the String Department at Berklee College of Music. There will be amazing workshops by Tracy Silverman, Chuck Bontrager, Mia Asan, Brooke Alfred, Greg Byers, Alissa Jackman, and more. This camp is mainly focused on electric strings but is open to all singers and instrumentalists.
Thank you to Martha Mooke for her tireless work in creating this program!
You can get a B.A. or a Master’s degree.
New Jersey City University is the first in the country to offer this cutting edge program. Multi-Style Strings embraces all styles of music, technology and improvisation with a mission to support creative exploration, empower artistic identity and provide practical tools essential for the 21st century string player to develop their potential
All the News That’s Fit to Print about violinist/vocalist/composer Joe Deninzon
Season’s Greetings, everyone!
Hope you’re staying safe and not losing your minds yet. 2020 has been a dark vortex of misery, and I like all of you am glad to send it into the dustbins of history.
The good news is that we will all (hopefully soon) will be vaccinated, and when this thing ends, (and it WILL end), people will be hungry for live music and entertainment like never before! So whatever you do, don’t say that this its the “new normal,’ cause to me, that’s just admitting that this situation is permanent, and I refuse to go softly into that goodnight, my friends…
‘TIS THE SEASON! ALL ITEMS ON MY BANDCAMP 20 PERCENT OFF!
That’s right, folks! Please visit my BANDCAMP store and get 20 percent off when you type the code “holidaze2020” at the checkout. Get deep discounts on vinyl, mugs, t-shirts, my book, CD’s, and downloads! Available now until January 1st at MIDNIGHT!
Attention String Players and Orchestra Teachers! Joe Deninzon string arrangements NOW AVAILABLE onwww.sheetmusicplus.com!
Over the years, I’ve written string duos, trios, quartets, and string orchestra arrangements for weddings, high school and college residencies, music camps, hired arrangements projects, and just for my own enjoyment. Some people curl up with a good novel, but I love to sit with my laptop, sip a beer and crank out string arrangements. It’s my therapy & takes me to my happy place. Anyway, I have over 100 titles and will be uploading plenty more in the next few months.
Music by ACDC, Journey, Guns N Roses, Nirvana, Coldplay, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Queen, Van Halen, Rihanna, Tylor Swift, Katie Perry, and much much much more! I also have original pieces up there. Check it out! Arrangements for levels ranging from beginner/intermediate advanced!
Visit my store at: www.sheetmusicplus.com
It is my great honor to teach alongside such great artists and colleagues in the “multi-style” string universe. Strings Without Boundaries is a program founded by violinist Julie Lyonn Lieberman, who has been a pioneer in the field of “alternative/multi-style” string playing for over 40 years! I have contributed to her latest book, “A Festival of Violin and Fiddle Styles,” and had a chance to teach at her online symposium this past summer. She has put together an incredible world-renowned faculty to teach this virtual schmorgasbord of classes. There is no tuition and classes can be taken a-la-carte. Visit the website for the schedule and list of classes. www.stringswithoutboundaries.com Mine will include:
-How to Read Chord Charts and Lead Sheets
-Getting in the Groove
-Intro to Live Looping
-Learn the solo to “Stairway to Heaven.”
This past October, Stratospheerius released one of most ambitions songs of all time, “Storm Surge.” Based on a 19th century solo piano piece by German Composer Friedrich Burgmuller, the song was co-written by me, our drummer Jason Gianni, and renowned SAGA lead vocalist Michael Sadler. The track features Michael as our guest lead vocalist, and other guest appearances by guitarist Fernando Perdomo, cellist Ruti Celli, NY-Phil Violinist (and my wife) Yulia Ziskel, and blind prodigy and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Flowers on piano and flute.
The track has been getting some love from Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services.
Finally, here’s a livestream/interview we did on October 30th
Rachel Barton Pine plays “Electric Lake of Soul”
In 2015, I was commissioned to compose a solo piecer by my good friend/world-renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine.
The result was an 11-minute piece called “The Electric Lake of Soul,” inspired by the novel “Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates” by one of my favorite authors, Tom Robbins. On December 4th, the day after my birthday, Rachel performed this piece as part of her weekly “Family Fridays” livestream series. She plays my piece right after a caprice by one of my favorite violinist/composers of all time, Mark O’Connor. Check it out!
All of these projects that I’m involved in cost money; Paying musicians, engineers, videographers, promoters, managers, etc etc etc. I would love nothing more than to continue making music for you and the rest of the world to enjoy and to hopefully inspire people. In these dark and uncertain times, it is harder than ever for us musicians to survive. Live gigs have all but disappeared, and I am mainly teaching and recording online, which provides a fraction of the income I had before the pandemic. It will take a long time before I build up that revenue stream to come close to what I was making in the “before time.” Patreon is a wonderful site which enables fans of artist to subscribe for as little as $5 per month. In return, you get a monthly free unreleased download, bootlegs, exclusive sneak peaks, early access to new releases, private concerts, music lessons, free swag, and more!
Notes:Joe Deninzon will be giving virtual workshops for the “Strings Without Boundaries Winter String Summit” Jan 7-10, 2021. Classes include “How to Read Chord Charts & Lead Sheets,” “Rock 101,” “Learning the solo to Stairway to Heaven,” and “Live Looping.”
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 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…
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:
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.
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.
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!
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
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…
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!
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.