All the News that’s fit to print about electric violinist/composer Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius


Happy spring, beautiful people! Sorry I’ve been so low in updating the site. Lot’s going on. Some thing I am at liberty to share with you. Some things I am not :). But all will be revealed in time… I hope you’re excited for the warm weather and gearing up to see some live music this spring and summer!

Speaking of live music, I’m psyched, overwhelmed with giddiness and excitement to share with you the official release of the new Stratospheerius double LIVE CD/DVD/BLU RAY: “Behind the Curtain (Live at ProgStock)!” We have almost 2 hrs of music taken from our 2019 and 2021 performance at our favorite music festival, ProgStock in Rahway, NJ. During the pandemic, I learned to edit videos, and this baby was. LOT of editing! The world changed during the pandemic, and these performances are a snapshot of where we were before, and after the world turned upside down. The 2021 performance features guest appearances by our good friend Alex Skolnick (guitarist from Testament and former guitarist from Stratospheerius) and Rachel Flowers , the blind multi-instrumental genius, who joins us on piano and flute. All these performances were completely spontaneous with little or no rehearsal, and we were able to capture lightning in a bottle! We want to thank our mixing engineer, Matt Vanacoro, mastering engineer Dave Kerzner, assistant editor David P. Levin, Melodic Revolution Records president Nick Katona, our manager Anne Leighton, and our graphics designer/DVD author Joel Barrios, for countless hours that they devoted to this project. Big thank you to Tom Palmieri and Ann Rinaldi for creating the festival and keeping it alive, and for all the volunteers who work there! This is the culmination of three years of work, and we’re very proud of it and can’t wait to share it with you! The official release date is May 19th! But you can pre-order it if you click on the graphic below!

Celebrate the CD Release with us on May 31st at the Iridium NYC!

Join us on Wednesday, May 31st for our live CD/DVD release party at NYC’s greatest rock/jazz/fusion venue, The Iridium!
Opening the night will be our good friend and longtime collaborator, guitarist/singer/songwriter Randy McStine from Porcupine Tree.
And joining us on stage will be our 5th member, keyboardist/vocalist Bill Hubauer, best known for his work with Neal Morse and his. band, “We Came from Space.”


Here are two of our favorite videos from the upcoming live release; “Game of Chicken,” and “Spain (Feat. Rachel Flowers & Alex Skolnick.”

In other news…

I’m blessed to teach at the new Multi-Styles String program at New Jersey City University! Tomorrow night, you can come and see a FREE concert with students and faculty at the Margaret Williams Theater in Jersey City! Featuring myself, my boss, violist/composer Martha Mooke, bassist John Benitez, and legendary jazz violinist Regina Carter, along with our students, Naxo Romero-violin, Lourdes Rosales-viola, Tom Valdez-cello, Ben Sutin-violin, and Benji Daniels-bass.!

Page Media

You’re invited to NJCU Multi-Style String X-Travaganza!
Wednesday, April 12 8:00PM
Margaret Williams Theatre
Hepburn Hall
2039 Kennedy Blvd

Jersey City, NJ 07305

BRM Celebrating the music of Shakti/Mahavishnu @ City Winery April 16th

This Sunday, April 16th @ 7 P.M.. Come see Brooklyn Raga Massive perform music of John. McLaughlin, Shakti, and Mahavishnu Orchestra!
City Winery NYC. Buy tickets HERE!

Joe Deninzon-violin
Anupam Shobhakar-guitar
Premik Russel Tubbs-sax
Neel Murgai-sitar
Dan Asher-bass
Vin Scialla-drums

Month in Review

I had a blast at the annual American String Teachers conference in Orlando this past March. Sharing the stage at my Loopapalooza workshop alongside living legends/friends Tracy Silverman and Rob Flax!

And hanging with a who’s who of masters in the progressive strings community. Here are some pics:
Sweet Plantain did our annual residency performing for the students at Arlington High School at LaGrangeville, NY. Thank you for Elizabeth and Jonathan Handman for having us back!


On May 17th-21st, I’ll be joining the legendary Mark Wood in San Antonio, TX for the first time working with his EYS “Electrify Your Symphony” program. As a traveling clinician for many years, I’m honored and excited to help Mark and his wife Laura Kaye lead a giant orchestra comprised of many schools in the area, rocking out as one big powerhouse!

This summer, I will be returning for my 13th year of teaching at Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp in Olathe, KS from July 9th-15th. If you’re a string player, singer, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, or drummer, don’t miss this exciting week of learning, performing, and forming lifelong friendships! Sign up TODAY!

Nelli Shlkolnikova Academy August 6 – 13 , 2023
Chateau de La Flocellière, France

I’m honored to be joining my wife, NY Phil violinist Yulia Ziskel alongside members of the San Francisco symphony and other orchestras to teach and perform at the Nelli Shkolnikova Academy at Chateau de La Flocelliere in France. I’ll be the token rock/jazz guy! Nelli was our teacher at Indiana University who passed away from brain cancer in 2010. This music camp was created in her honor and this will be its second year. Sign up today HERE!

Indiegogo THANK YOU!

Our Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the new Stratospheerius live and studio albums is officially over. We have surpassed our goal of raising $10k, and have had over 150 contributors from all over the United States, Canada, Germany, the UK, Belgium, and France! We are extremely grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support! If you are among the contributors, please know that we are in the process of organizing all the perks and will get them to you before the end of the month! Thank you for your patience an your support!

Have a great spring and I hope to see you soon!


Love, JD


Hello, my friends.

It’s Friday, September 2nd. I’m sitting here on the balcony of our rented condo in Maui overlooking the islands of Molokai and Lanai, watching the sunset, enjoying our the last days of our annual family vacation, and contemplating the insanity that awaits me when the plane touches down at Newark on Sunday. This fall looks to be one of the busiest runs of performances I’ve ever had, so it’s the GOOD kind of insanity. I just hope I can juggle all this different music in my brain! I feel refreshed and ready to kick some booty! Hope your summer has bee full of beautiful memories and inspirational moments.

Here is a long list of upcoming events I would like to share with you. I hope you can join me on parts of this ride…

Upcoming shows:

9/16 & 17 with Robert Bonfiglio. Grand Canyon Music Festival
My tenure with this festival is old enough to drink (has been for a few years now), which means I’m old enough to have my first colonoscopy.
But enough about that! Sept 12-17th, I return to the Grand Canyon Music Festival to teach the program I co-founded, “The Grand Canyon School of Rock,” and performing with renowned harmonica virtuosos, Robert Bonfiglio, with my friend, guitar genius Steve Benson and local cats John Vail on bass and Bryan Stone on drums. We perform at the Shrine of the Ages (South Rim) on Friday, Sept 16th and Saturday, Sept 17th.
Tickets can be purchased at

9/20  Chord Charts/Lead Sheets workshop for

I will be teaching a virtual class for intermediate-advanced string players on how to read chord charts and lead sheets, a skill that is essential for all modern musicians, but often overlooked in traditional string education. Reserve your spot in the class  HERE!

9/30 & 10/01 Stratospheerius at Ganja Grail at Harry’s Hill 
It’s been a while, but Stratospheerius is excited to return to Harry’s Hill in Starks, ME for two performances at one of their awesome festivals, Ganja Grail! Friday 9/30 @7PM and 10/1 @ 12 PM. Tickets for the whole weekend can be purchased at

10/1 Stratospheerius Sonic Voyage Fest Stone Church. NH with Dark Beauty and Dreadnaught
Stone Church is an old Church in Newmarket, NH that has been converted to a music venue. We love playing here, and have not done so since the first Sonic Voyage Fest in 2015. We are excited about coming back and performing with our friends, the newly relocated New Hampshirites Dark Beatry and local favorites Dreadnaught! Come out to the show! Tickets available HERE!

10/7 with The Who. UBS Arena Elmont, NY. I”ll ver once again joining the orchestra and backing up this iconic band!

10/8 with Sweet Plantain/Harlem Chamber Players NYC
Celebrating LatinX Heritage month with Harlem Chamber Players and Sweet Plantain.
7 P.M.
Broadway Presbyterian Church
601 W. 114th St.
Ticket link

10/9 with various bands. ProgStock Festival. Rahway, NJ.
I’ll be the house violinist at my favorite prog rock festival. Sitting in with Evership, Dave Kerner, Rachel Flowers, and Pattern Seeking Animals! Busy day, folks!

10/12 with Stratospheerius/District 97 Kennet Flash. Kennet Sq, PA, 8 P.M.
Stratospheerius is psyched to be opening for one of our favorite prog bands, Chicago-based District 97!
We are major fanboys of these guys, and believe the are one of the most creative, innovative bands out there right now!
Tickets & info

Renaissance Legacy Tour

After a long, 3-year break. I’m honored to once again be joining the legendary Annie Haslam and Renaissance, along with my brothers in Sweet Plantain and the Renaissance Chamber Orchestra, for their East Coast “Legacy” tour celebrating Annie’s 75th birthday.
What makes this even more special is that my good friend Rachel Flowers will be opening for us on October 20th, and I’ve just been asked to sit in with her and Annie on an intimate song. More info to come…

Tour dates below and more info at

10/19  Patchogue Theater. Long Island
10/20 Count Basie Theater. Red Bank, NJ
10/21 Keswick Theater Glenside PA
10/27  The Egg. Troy, NY
10/28  Ridgefield Theater, CT
10/29 Town Hall, NYC

11/05 with Stratospheerius & Kinetic Element. Orion Studios, Baltimore, MD.
We will be joining our label mates Kinetic Element from Melodic Revolution Records
for Orion Sound’s legendary Progressive Showcase series.More info HERE!

11/18 with Steve Sandberg. Miller Symphony Hall. Allentown, PA
I am excited to be joining Emmy award-winning jazz pianist/composer Steve Sandberg (best known as the guy who scored Dora the Explorer!)
and his quartet for this concert at Miller Theater, home of the Allentown Symphony.
Friday, Nov 18th at 7 P.M.
Miller Symhpony Hall
23 N 6th St, Allentown, PA 18101
Tickets and info

In the Studio

I first discovered the music of Dave Kerzner in 2014, when I got hooked on “Sound of Contact,” the band he created with Phil Collin’s son, Simon on lead vocals and drums. Dave was the co-writer, producer and keyboardist of their phenomenal album, “Dimensionaught.” Since then, he has released a series of great solo albums, and I’m fortunate to have contributed strings to two of them. Her is his latest release, “The Travekler,” featuring strings from me, cello from Ruti Celli, Fernando Perdomo on guitar, Nick D’Virgilio and Marco Minneman on drums, Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd/Rolling Stones) on backup vocals, John Davidson from Yes on guest vocals, Matt Dorsey (Sound of Contact) on bass, Billy Sherwood (Yes) on bass, and more guests.

Lots more news to come, but for now, this is all I can share. Stay tuned for a big announcement coming real soon….

Love and music,


All the news that’s fit to print about electric violinist/singer/composer/mandolinist Joe Deninzon

Hey, beautiful people!

How’s your summer going so far? This is Joe D. Checking in with the latest updates.

I’ve been in full sprint (when am I not?!) working on a million things at once. June is usually high season for me. Both with private events, teaching obligations, and creative projects. It’s “full court press,” as I like to say. Here’s what’s going on:

Stratospheerius is finally coming into the home stretch of our double live CD/DVD project that we’ve been working on for two years. I know you’re probably sick of hearing about it. But yeah this thing will see the light of day, I promise!! But a double live cd and dvd and blu ray takes time? I e been through this thing about 100 times checking for mistakes and fixed and making sure it’s just right! Aiming for a fall release. Stay tuned…

Here are the last two singles and videos we released from this upcoming mammoth project, “The Prism” and “Game of Chicken.” You can stream the songs on all streaming services or download them at our STORE page.

Joe Deninzon “Live Looping 101” on

This coming Tuesday I’m teaching an online masterclass for on Live Looping. The class is filling up fast, but there’s still room to sign up. I’m a passionate looper and really believe it’s a great way to improve your musicianship. The class is for beginning loopers on ANY INSTRUMENT! I break down songs to show you how to build a loop.  Here’s a link to a promo vid and signup.

Sunday, June 26th. Sweet Plantain performs at Perspectives Festival in Pittsburgh.

Venue is Discoteca Insomnia and we hit at 8 PM.
810 Brookline Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Here’s the link for tickets.

Joe Deninzon Residency at Cello Fury Rock Camp June 27th

On Monday, June 27th, I’ll be sticking around in Pittsburgh and doing aome masterclasses at the Cello Fury Rock Camp for young string players! Big thank you to Nicole Myers for the invitation! I’m looking forward to working with these talented your string players.

Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp

June 10-16th, I’ll be returning for my 12th consecutive year teaching and performing at Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp!

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year, surrounded by friends and colleagues who I think the world of and have a special place in my heart. While it’s filled with electric and acoustic string players who want to rock out and find their voice, we have singers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists…all are welcome and there’s something for everyone!


Joe Deninzon/Sweet Plantain/Martha Mooke Multi-Style
Teachers Symposium Aug 1-3 at NJCU

August 1-2, Sweet Plantain is joining forces with legendary electric violist Martha Mooke for a three-day symposium for string teachers and players at NJCU in connection with the Multistyle String Program, where we all teach. 

Day 1 will focus on Sweet Plantain and how to translate different Latin and Afro Cuban styles to strings, including all the percussive effects and grooves we incorporate into our arrangements.

Day 2 will feature mine and Martha’s electric string stylings, talking about improv, looping, effects pedals, arranging, and gigging as an electric player.  

Day 3, Martha and Sweet Plantain will join forces, co-teach, and perform.

Here’s the link to sign up!

Joe Deninzon Rock, Pop, and Hip-Hop String Arrangements available on

Wedding season is upon us. If you’re the order of a string ensemble, check out my numerous rock, pop, and hip hop arrangements on

I have 137 quartet, trio, and string orchestra arrangements if everything from Led Zeppelin to Lol Nas X. There will be a LOT more uploaded to this website in the future, so stay tuned…




All the news that’s fit to print about violinist/composer/singer/mandolinist/Stratospheerian Joe Deninzon

Hey, everyone. Happy Spring!

While I look forward to all the super cool performances, recordings, and other projects awaiting me in the coming months, I write this with a heavy heart. My family is from Russia. My grandparents and their ancestors on my father’s side were from Ukraine. We have many close friends from the Ukraine. Our hearts are breaking for the unprovoked invasion by the tyrant Putin and the unbelievable hardships the people of Ukraine are going through. We pray for peace and a swift end to this terrible war, for Putin to be removed from of power and punished for war crimes, and the Ukraine to be rebuilt and restored to the thriving democracy it deserves to be.  We are also concerned that ignorant people in the United States and other countries do not blame Russian immigrants living among them for the invasion. People have to realize that we escaped this country decades ago because we distrusted its government and couldn’t see a future for our kids there. Most Russians I know, even the ones living in Russia who can’t speak openly about it, condemn this invasion and despise the many who started it.

If you want to help people in Ukraine, a good thing to do is reserve an Air BNB. While you don’t plan on traveling and staying in the Ukraine, you are supporting the folks that own the Air BNB and helping them provide for their families.

You can also help by donating to the International Rescue Committee and other charitable organizations.

And now for the news…

Rachel Barton Pine Israeli tour and commission

Recently, my good friend Rachel Barton Pine commissioned me to write a duet for her and her daughter Sylvia. Rachel is an internationally-renowned violin virtuoso, and her 9-year-old daughter is on her way to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Rachel and Sylvia are doing a 5-date tour of Israel with the Tel Aviv soloists March 11th-15th. She asked me to write a short, flashy, Klezmery piece that she could play at the end of each night with her daughter. I went to work and came up with something that I’m really excited about. The concept was to chronicle my family’s experience as Russian Jewish refugees who came to the US, and connect it with Russian Jewish refugees who came to Israel. But with the recent refugee crisis, I think one could make a thread to the current Ukranian refugees crossing into Poland, Hungary, and other parts of Europe. The work is titled “Livroach el Ha’or,” which means “Escape to the light.”

Here are there tour dates. If you live in Israel, I highly recommend attending a concert. Rachel is, in my opinion, one of the greatest living classical violinists!

This Thursday, March 10th
Two shows in one night!

7-9 PM,performing with Emmanuel Bishop for the National Down Syndrome Society Gala

Emmanuel is a true inspiration. Born with down syndrome, he is an accomplished acoustic and electric violinist, a champion swimmer, and a polyglot. He has been an international spokesperson for the NDSS. It is such an honor to be backing him up on the Vivaldi A Minor violin concerto and the Seitz Violin Concert, performed on two electric violins. Thank you to my brother Matt Bell for the opportunity. You can read more about Emmanuel here:

9:30 P.M. performing with BRM (Brooklyn Raga Massive) at 55 Bar NYC. Celebrating the music of John McLaughlin, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Shakti.

55 Bar
55 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

With Vin Scialla-drums
Premik Russel Tubbs (original Mahavishnu member)-woodwinds
Neel Murgai-sitar
Dan Asher-bass
Anupam Shobhakar-doubleck guitar

Friday, March 18th
Electric String String Summit in Atlanta with Joe Deninzon, Rob Flax, Martha Mooke, Matt Bell, Tracy Silverman, Jesus Florido

VENUE: Venkman’s, 740 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
DOORS: 5 pm
SHOW: 6 pm
TICKETS: $10, GA, at the door or in advance here:

Saturday, March 19th: ASTA Workshop

265 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30303

I’m excited to return to ASTA after a 2-year hiatus. The American String Teachers Association National Conference is a special time where all of us string nerds get together, share our pedagogical and performance knowledge, and abuse our livers. This year, I’m leading a panel presentation on Saturday at 2:45 PM on “Using Looping and other Effects to Improve Your Classical Technique.” Panel includes myself, Tracy Silverman, Martha Mooke, Julie Lyon Lieberman, Robb Janov, and Andy Reiner. These are THE CATS! The challenge will be condensing everything we have to share into one HR!!! OMFG, I’ve created a monster!

Saturday, April 17th: performing at ROSfest (Sarasota, Fla)

Joe Deninzon performs at ROSfest (
ROSfest is one of the biggest progressive rock festivals in the world and takes place at the Sarasota Opera House
3 PM, I’ll be playing a solo set in the beer garden outside of the theater, as pat of the Minstrels in the Garden series.
8 PM, I’ll be on the main stage, performing with my friend keyboardist Dave Kerzner (Sound of Contact) and his all-star band, which includes:
Bill Sherwood-bass (Yes)
Fernando Perdomo-guitar (Jacob Dylan)
Durga McBroom-vocals (Pink Floyd)
Nick D’Virgilio-drums (Genesis, Spocks Beard, Big Big Train)

Stratospheerius is back on stage!!

We’ve been writing, recording, mixing, editing, and editing some more. But now, we are emerging from our musical manacles for a bit to perform for you all again! Two NY-area shows April 29th and May 12th.

Friday April 29th
9 PM-1 AM
Sonic Voyage Fest presents:
Brooklyn Raga Massive (celebrating the music of John McLaughlin, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Shakti)
Joe Deninzon & Strastospheerius

118 N. Main St.
Nyack, NY

Thursday, May 12th
Electric Violin Summit with
One More Once feat John Dinklage (Rush)
Stratospheerius feat Joe Deninzon

Shrine World Music Venue
2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd

Thursday, May 26th
I’m excited to be performing with The Who once again at Madison Square Garden!



The Stratospheerius double live DVD/CD is moving forward. Expected release date is sometime in September, in the meantime, we’re dropping singles every few months just to tease ya! The next one, “The Prism,” is due out on April 8th.

In the meantime, please check out our last SINGLE (the first single form this album) and video “Game of Chicken!”

Alex Skolnick Interviews Yulia Ziskel on WQXR/”Moods and Modes” podcast

My wife, NY–Phil violinist Yulia Ziskel was recently interviewed by my old friend and former bandmate, legendary Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick for his awesome podcast, “Moods and Modes,” in conjunction with WQXR. The topic was “Heavy Classical,” turning rock and metal fans on to classical music and finding threads that connect the two genres. Here is the main link to hear the podcast.

Join My Patreon!

If you join right now for as low as $5 per month, I’ll send you my complete digital music catalogue as a FREE gift! Furthermore, you’ll get monthly gig diaries, unreleased downloads, exclusive behind-the-scenes stuff, and early FREE access to anything I release, as a solo artist or with Stratospheerius. We’re hard at work putting the finish touches on our live album and DVD, as well as a new studio album. It’s gonna cost a LOT to manufacture and promote both of these projects, so any help from you, my friends would be greatly appreciated. In return, I will bring you into my crazy world and share my stories, my music, and my heart and soul.


Please follow my electro-acoustic string collective, Metro Strings on Instagram.
More videos and pics to come….

Take care of yourselves and pay for peace on earth. See ya out there!!

Love an music


Joe Deninzon BANDCAMP

Find Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and wherever music streams




All the news that’s fit to print about Electric Violinist/Composer/Singer Joe Deninzon

Greetings, Friends!

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful and joyous Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Festivus, whatever it is that you celebrate. These are tough times. Like many of you, my family has had had to cancel our travel plans this holiday season. We were going to visit my family in Cleveland, but on Wednesday December 22nd, I started to experience a mild fever, sore throat, body aches, all that fun stuff… Sure enough, I tested positive for Covid the next day! I’ve been isolating in my basemend/studio and just emerged yesterday. My doctor (and the CDC) said if I was symptom-free, a 5-day isolation period would be OK as long as I wear a. mask around the house. The day after I got sick, both of my kids got it too. Yulia has been holding out and tested negative just yesterday! The only good thing, (and yes it’s really the ONLY good thing), is that I got a TON of work done. Stratospheerius is working harder than ever, simultaneously mixing, mastering, and editing a double live CD/DVD and a new studio album. The live project has about 140 minutes of music (taken from tour 2019 and 2021 performances at the Progstock festival) and we hope to release it in May. We might have to leave some stuff out and release it as a bonus to some of our hardcore fans. It’s been a LOT of work, and “miles to go before we sleep,” as they say, but we can’t wait for you to experience this project when it’s released! In fact, we just dropped our first video/single from that upcoming live album, “Game of Chicken (Live at Progstock)” on Melodic Revolution Records. Here are links where you can stream it/watch the video/purchase the track:



We’ll be dropping videos and singles every two or three months until the album’s release.


Speaking of BANDCAMP, my RIDICULOUS/LUDICROUS holiday sale ends on January 5th! I’ve slashed prices on books, vinyl, t-shirts, mugs, CD’s, DVD’s downloads, and everything. Please brows the store and place an order if there is something missing from your collection.

Other Highlights of 2021

The end of the year is a time to take stock. Even when I feel like I’m not getting anything done, when I look back on 2021, it’s been quite a busy year and there are some cool projects out there in the universe to prove that I’m not a slacker. Haha! So, here are some highlights of my year:

Musical Projects

This past October, Stratospheerius returned to the stage with a series of live shows in the NY/NJ area. Our friends Tom Palmieri and Ann Rinaldi invited us to step in last minute and headline their Progstock Festival at Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, NJ when John Goodsall from Brand X got sick and had to cancel his show. John passed away last month and we would like to express our deepest condolences to his family and fans. That night, we got to record more material for our upcoming live CD/DVD and our friends, multi-instrematal genius Rachel Flowers and renowned guitarist/former band member Alex Skolnick  got to sit in. There is an amazing performance of Chick Corea’s “Spain” with myself, Alex, and Rachel which we hope to include on the upcoming release.


In February, Stratospheerius released the fourth single from our upcoming studio album, this one called “Cognitive Dissonance,” with special guest vocalist Randy McStine. The video features claymation by our good friend/drummer/multi-instrumentalist/animator Patrick Carmichael.

Here’s a link to buy the track.
Here’s a link to stream the track


After Patrick did such a bang-up job with our video claymation, I returned the favor by laying down some strings for his new song, “Table of Elements,” which he composed, played drums, flute, and percussion, and created stop-motion in the video which he produced. I even managed to clone myself! If you like what you hear and need strings for your projects, I can make your wildest string section dreams come true! Here’s Patrick’s new video:


On October 12th, 2019, the night before Stratospheerius recorded our live DVD, I recorded another live DVD with my brothers in Sweet Plantain as the concertmaster of Renaissance, featuring the legendary Annie Haslam on lead vocals. This was the band’s 50th anniversary tour, and that project was released this year!

Here is a link to purchase this fine product. We all hope to hit the road again in the fall of 2022.

Here is a clip from the DVD of the song :”Opening Out”


I also reconnected with my old friend Ron Baron, former bassist in Stratospheerius, who now resides in Tel Aviv, Israel. Together with producer Ben Wyde, we put together this fun EDM track called Booqboot. Check it out!


Finally, during the peak of the quarantine, my friend (former MTV/Nickelodeon producer) David P. Levin came up with an award-winning online series called “Viral Vignettes,” featuring scripted comedy skits with famous actors speaking on Zoom. Here’s one I contributed music for with actresses Renée Taylor (the Nanny) and Michelle Green (LA Law). If you like the clip, please purchase the movie. All proceeds go to benefit the Actor’s Fund, which helps performers during difficult times like these.


It was also a busy year for Sweet Plantain, performing at numerous concert series throughout the NY area. We hope to get into the studio in early 2022. Stanby for more updates…

Education Station

As usual, my life an an educator is jam packed, whether virtual or in-person. This year, I taught my 11th MWROC (Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp), the only camp on the planet dedicated entirely to electric strings! This year was virtual again but we all hope to return in person to Olathe, KS in July of 2022.

I also taught at virtual Fiddle Hell, run by the great David Reiner and his family of fiddlers.

Strings Without Boundaries is an online series of workshops related by the great Julie Lyonn Lieberman, who has written over 20 books on string improvisation and has been a legend in the multi style string education world! I had the honor of teaching on her platform in January and July.
All classes are archived on the website and available for purchase.

I continued my private instruction through, where I also gave a series of group classes called “Rock 101.”

I hosted two online panels for the NJ chapter of ASTA (American String Teachers Association) on “Bringing Multistyle Strings to the Classroom,” and “Music of Black and LatinX Composers,’ with guests including Eddie Venegas, Rachel Barton Pine, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Martha Mooke, Andy Reiner, Dr. David Wallace, Alicia Svigals, and Heather Gonzales.

In September, I returned to the Grand Canyon Music Festival, where I performed with renowned harmonica virtuoso Robert Bonfiglio, guitarist Steve Benson, bassist John Vail, and drummer Bryan Stone, as well as flutist Clare Hoffman and violinist/composer Cenovia Cumins. We also taught our School of Rock program which I co-founded in 2007.

This past August, I was the episode 10 guest on my friend Tracy Silvrman’s new podcast, “For the Greater Groove; the Future of Strings.” Tracy is one of the greatest living electric violinists, and a master educator and all around nice guy. I contributed to his awesome book, “Strum Bowing,” two years ago. The podcast is focused on getting string players to free themselves from the “chains” imposed on them by their classical training and explore more groove-based techniques like chopping, comping, etc. The other guests are a who’s who of legends in the alt strings universe (Mark O’Connor, Christian Howes, Mark Wood, Darol Anger, Earl Maneein). Here’s a link to my episode:

…And here are two jams that were part of the podcast, me and Tracy playing James Brown’s “The Chicken” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Freedom.”
Tracy is a rock star for me growing up, ever since he coached me when I was a college student in the 90’s and he was in the Turtle Island String Quartet, so for him to invite me to be on his podcast is a BIG fucking deal!

Finally, I am excited to have just completed my first semester on the faculty of the new Multistyle String program at NJCU! This is a new Bachelor’s and Master’s program started by my good friend and colleague, electric violist Martha Mooke. The faculty includes Jeremy Kittel, Regina Carter, and Dave Eggar. In 2022, my quartet Sweet Plantain will be added to the faculty as quartet-in-residence. I am super honored and excited about begin a part of this program and contributing to its development!

2022 Preview

2022 is linning up to be another exciting year! In addition to the new Stratospheerius releases, I will be presenting at the in-person ASTA National Conference in Atlanta, GA on March 19th alongside a bunch of my colleagues, I have just been commissioned by renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine to write a Jewish-inspired violin duo for her to perform with her daughter Sylvia in Israel in March. I also look forward to returning to teach at Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp in July and perform once again at the Grand Canyon Music Fest in August. There are many more projects in the works, but I don’t want this e-blast to turn into a novel!


One last thing, these mammoth projects I’m working on will require money for adequate promotion, manufacturing, etc. If you join my PATREON for as little as $5 per month, you will get early access to EVERYTHING I release, plus monthly unreleased material and “gig diaries,” where I share my adventures and misadventures as a gigging musician in New York. Heck, I might even give you a personal concert or music lesson!

You can sign up at

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again, STAY SAFE and HEALTHY. I love and appreciate you all and wish you a blessed New Year!