2/19: Joe Deninzon Trio at Nighttown


Joe Deninzon is soaked to the bone in music. He had a strong presence in Cleveland’s rock scene in the ’90s, playing guitar and bass and singing with various area groups — he even played violin for Michael Stanley — before moving to New York in 1997 to earn a master’s degree in jazz at the Manhattan School of Music. He got his undergraduate degree in jazz and classical violin at Indiana University’s world-famous conservatory program, where he also met his wife Yulia Ziskel, now a member of the New York Philharmonic. Before that, he studied with his father, a Cleveland Orchestra violinist, and at the Cleveland Institute of Music. (His mother is also a classical musician.) Deninzon has played with artists ranging from Sheryl Crow and Smokey Robinson to Les Paul and Ritchie Blackmore, performed for President Clinton, won the John Lennon International Songwriting Contest, written music for TV shows and the New York City Ballet, and released four CDs with his band Stratospheerius (he plays electric violin in the quintet). He’s now taken another turn with his latest release with the Joe Deninzon Trio, Exuberance. Deninzon, bassist Robert Bowen and guitarist Stephen Benson play acoustic jazz, influenced by Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt — and contemporary pop music. The CD includes a take on Steely Dan’s “Bodhissatva,” as well as a version of Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug (Used to Be A),” giving an indication of the group’s range. The trio will celebrate the album’s release in Deninzon’s hometown at 9 p.m. at Nighttown (12387 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216.795.0550), where they’ll be joined by Stratospheerius drummer Lucianna Padmore. Tickets: $15. — Anastasia Pantsios