DENINZONEWS SEPT 2015: The Latest on Violinist/Vocalist/Composer JOE DENINZON

Dear friends,
I hope you’re having some adventures this summer and making great memories. Summer is winding down, and it’s been an incredible ride for me so far! Some very special things brewing in late August and in the fall. Here’s a look at where I’ve been and where I’m going:
July found me returning again to the incredible electric rock string nerd wonderland that is the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp in Olathe, KS. This year has to have been one of the best so far, with my longtime friend Mazz Swift  joining the faculty, as well as the incredible Haydn Vitera, who I call the “Carlos Santana of the electric violin”, being another addition to the family. I can’t say it enough, this camp really is a family; people who are primarily string players from all over the U.S. and other parts of the world, who have a deep passion for rock, electric strings, and pushing musical boundaries. It is always a beautiful experience, so much so that people stay in touch and come back year after year! Incredible camaraderie between the students and the faculty, which I am so blessed to be a part of. Here are some pics of me channeling Peter Gabriel while performing “Watcher of the Skies” with the incrombarable keyboardist/tech guru Matt Vanacoro, the great Laura Kaye and bassist Paul Ranieri as well as shots from my solo faculty performance. Hope to see you all next year!
The following week, I came home to Cleveland, where I grew up, but hadn’t performed in a few years, put together an incredible band of local musicians, and played to a full house at Nighttown! Thanks to everyone who came out: old friends, new friends, family, etc. Thank you to Nighttown, Jim Wadsworth for organizing the show, and my partners in crime, guitarist Dan Wilson, bassist Alferdo Gerierri, and drummer Billy Ransom. Here’s an excellent article that came out during the week leading up to the show from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:


SWEET PLANTAIN OCT 2014 PROMO SHOT30BonfiglioBwSchool of Rock by Jeremy Helflin 1
For 16 years now (holy shit!!), I have been coming back to one of the Seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon, to take part in the Grand Canyon Music Festival. I started out just performing with its co-founder, world-renowned harmonica virtuoso Robert Bonfiglio. In 2006, my friend Chris Millateri and I had an idea to get the local community in Grand Canyon Village more connected to the festival. With the invaluable help of Rene Westbrook, who got the funding,  The Grand Canyon School of Rock was born! This will be our 8th year!
This is truly a passion project of mine. I work alongside guitarist Steve Benson, the local high school music teacher Bentley Monk. Together, we work with kids from Grand Canyon HS, many of whom are novice musicians. We put a band together in 3 days, culminating in two 45-minute performances at the end of the week.
I can honestly say that in my professional life, the two weeks that I look forward to the most each year are MWROC and the Grand Canyon Music Festival.
This year, I am happy to announce that for the first time, my group Sweet Plantain will be taking part in both the Grand Canyon Music Festival and the NACAP (Native American Composers Apprentice Program). In addition to performing two concerts of our music, we will be traveling throughout the Navajo and Hopi reservations, where local kids spent time learning to write and notate music, and will be performing a free concert of their original works on Sunday August 6th.
It all happens at the Shrine of the Ages. South Rim, Grand Canyon Village. Here’s the schedule:
Thursday, September 3rd
7:30 P.M.
Robert Bonfiglio-harmonica
Joe Deninzon-violin/mandolin/vocals
Steve Benson-guitar
$15 admission
Friday, September 4th
4:00 P.M.
Grand Canyon School of Rock performance.
FREE to the public!
Friday, September 4th
7:30 P.M.
Joe Deninzon-violin/mandolin/vocals
Orlando Wells-violin
Edward Hardy-viola
Leo Grinhauz-cello
$15 admission
Saturday, September 5th
7:30 P.M.
Sweet Plantain performs
Sunday, September 6th
4:00 P.M.
Sweet Plantain NACAP performance
FREE to the public!

September 19th World Premier Joe Deninzon “Dream Diary” Electric Violin Concerto!!


It’s official! I will be premiering my electric violin concerto with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra. here is the official press release:
MSO Presents the World Premiere of Joe Deninzon’s
“Dream Diary: Concerto for 7-String Electric Violin and Orchestra”
Hailed by critics as “The Jimi Hendrix of the Violin,” Joe Deninzon will be performing his seven-string electric violin concerto with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, September 19, at 4:00PM.  This performance takes place in Sursa Hall on the campus of Ball State University. Sursa Hall is located at 1809 W. Riverside Ave., in Muncie, IN.
For ticket info, please call the Emens Box Office at 765-285-1539.
A 14-time BMI Jazz Composer’s grant recipient and winner of the John Lennon Songwriting contest, Joe is the lead singer and violinist for the progressive rock group Stratospheerius, which had its fifth album, THE NEXT WORLD released on Steve Vai’s Digital Nations. Joe is also a member of the Latin classical hip hop string quartet, Sweet Plantain. His work as a violinist and string arranger can be heard on over 100 CDs and jingles. Mr. Deninzon has worked with Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, and dozens of other projects.
As an educator, Joe has taught rock violin at Mark O’Connor’s String Camp and Mark Wood’s Rock Orchestra Camp. Mel Bay Publications released his book, PLUGGING IN on electric violin technique. 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.
“Dream Diary” was inspired, in part, by Joe’s roots in studying classical music and falling in love with ‘80s/’90s guitar virtuosos such as Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, and Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt.
Stating his best ideas come to him when he dreams, Joe’s “Dream Diary” concerto offers surreal imagery and is “very dream-like.” In the concerto, Joe also uses rock guitar effects on his violin such as distortion, delay, whammies, wah-wah, and loops.
Appreciating his style and passion, MSO Artistic Director / conductor, Douglas Droste, approached Deninzon with an idea for a concerto for rock violin and orchestra. “I cannot wait to bring this concerto to Muncie, with the hopes that it will attract new audiences and give our long-time concertgoers a new twist on an old genre.”
Also on the program are Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide Overture” and Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4.” As part of the  3:00PM pre-concert talk, Mr. Deninzon will share more about his work.
About Muncie Symphony Orchestra 
Founded in 1948, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra seeks to provide its audience with rewarding musical experiences and to promote social exchange among attendees of the musical events. As an organization that celebrates the cultural vibrancy of East Central Indiana, the MSO uses music as a way to engage, educate, entertain and enrich through traditional classical and pops concerts, children’s concert, chamber events, and community engagement programs.

Sweet Plantain performs at David Gotay Memorial Concert

Gotay tribute

On April 3rd, 2015, our dear friend and colleague, cellist/composer David Gotay, lost his battle with kidney cancer. He was an incredible talent and  beautiful soul who can never be replaced. Not a day goes by that we don’t remember David. On September 22nd, there will be a Memorial Concert for David Gotay, featuring Gene Pritzger’s Sound Liberation, Sweet Plantain, , and many other artists. Here’s all the info:
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 at 7pm


85 Avenue A
(between 5th & 6th Streets)
New York, NY 10009

Stratospheerius New Single, ‘TAKE YOUR MEDICINE.” and other singles


Check out 3 of the latest songs from Stratospheerius! Our last single, “Take Your Medicine,” is getting rave responses and trending on
Joe Deninzon-electric violin/vocals/mandolin
Lucianna Padmore-drums
Aurelien Budynek-guitar
Jamie Bishop-bass


Check out this interview I recently did with Cindy Mitch @

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