The latest on violinist/vocalist/mandolinist/composer Joe Deninzon

joe sullys 5-22-15


Happy SUMMER!! Looks to be the most sizzling, scorching, hottest summer on record! Musically and otherwise…

These past two months have brought me some definite career highlights and moments I will never forget.


In April, Sweet Plantain toured the U.S. Virgin Islands, with successful performances in St. John and St. Thomas.

Following that string of shows, we finished tracking our upcoming CD, and are currently in post-production.

On May 7th, I made my ROSfest debut, sitting in with the incredible band, Circuline, on their song “Silence Revealed!”

Stratospheerius hit the studio the following week, recording two new songs, and making strides towards completion of our upcoming CD!

On May 4-5th, I was honored to work with the talented orchestra players in Highland Schools in Medina, OH (Suburb of my hometown of Cleveland!). I love doing these residencies where I get to inspire and be inspired by talented young musicians, and perform my originals and arrangements of classic and modern rock with the school orchestra. Thank you to Rachel Gamin for the incredible work she does with these kids and for giving me the opportunity to work with them!


Finally, on May 20th and 21st, I performed with Jazz at Lincoln Center as part of an incredible program titled “America’s Unforgettable Crooners!” I was featured in the show, and got to perform with some of the most talented young cats I’ve ever met, including the incomparable musical director/drummer Bryan Carter (Leader of the house band on the new NBC show, Maya and Marty), singer/trumpeter Benny Banack III, Charles Turner, and Denzal Sinclair! Definitely a career highlight for me!


Upcoming shows in NYC, NJ, Maine, Connecticut, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, and more!

Friday, June 10th

10 P.M.-1 A.M.

Joe Deninzon Jazz Group performs at Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten

Joe Deninzon-violin/mandolin/vocals

Steve Benson-guitar

Ben Gramm-drums

Paul Ranieri-bass

Sunday, June 12th, 6 P.M.

Sweet Plantain performs our annual FREE concert at West Side Community Garden


89th St. between Amsterdam and Columbus in NYC.

Sweet Plantain is:

Joe Deninzon-violin/mandolin/vocals

Eddie Venegas-violin/trombone

Leo Grinhauz-cello

Orlando Wells-viola

Thursday, June 16th

Sonic Voyage Fest featuring Stratospheerius and Shadow Eden

at Sully’s Pub


 2071 Park St, Hartford, CT 06106

(860) 231-8881

Stratospheerius returns to Harmony, ME for Freedomfest!

2 performances:

Friday, June 17th, 8 P.M.

Saturday, June 18th, 7 P.M. 

71 Carson Hill Road,
Harmony, Maine

Stratospheerius is:

Joe Deninzon-lead vocals/electric violn

Michelangelo Quirenale-guitar

Paul Ranieri-bass

Kenny Grohowski-drums

Joe Deninzon returns to teach/perform at

Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp/Festival

June 10th-17th

Mark Wood

When I was 17, I was a misfit at my high school A violin nerd who had a deep love for Led Zeppelin,. Rush, Kiss, ACDC, Zappa, and wanted to rock out! If only a camp like this existed when I was 17, I would have been all over it! I see my younger self in every kid who attends. There really is a familial atmosphere and I have made lasting friendships with campers, teachers, and fellow colleagues who are a part of this incredible experience! It is not just for string geeks; guitarists, bassists, singers, drummers, keyboard players, teachers and students of all ages are welcome! I can’t speak enough about what a game changer this week has been for so many musicians and can be for you! I am honored and excited to be coming back for my 6th year as a faculty member at the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp/Music Festival! Register today at:


Joe Deninzon performs in Vail, CO for Jazz at the

Market Series with Mark Diamond Trio

Sunday, July 23rd

12-3 P.M.

I am honored to be invited by the Vail Jazz Society to perform at this awesome weekly series in downtown Vail, CO with three of Colorado’s greatest jazz musicians!

Mark Diamond (bass)

Paul Romaine (drums)

Andy Weyl (keyboard).


Vail Jazz @ The Market


Sweet Plantain returns to Grand Canyon Music Festival

School of Rock/Bonfiglio Group

Bella G


Pitts Minneman


Grand Canyon Music Festival/School of Rock/NACAP with Sweet Plantain and Robert Bonfiglio Group

School of Rock by Jeremy Helflin 130BonfiglioBw

For 17 years now, I have been coming back to one of the 7 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 the grants,  The Grand Canyon School of Rock was born! This will be our 8th year!
This is truly a passion project of mine. My partner guitarist Steve Benson, the local high school music teacher Bentley Monk, and I work with kids from Grand Canyon HS, many of whom are novice musicians, and put a band together in 3 days, culminating in two 45-minute performances at the end of the week.
Last year, my group Sweet Plantain made its festival debut,  taking part in both the Grand Canyon Music Festival and the NACAP (Native American Composers Apprentice Program). This year we are honored to return. In addition to performing two concerts of our music, we will be traveling throughout the Navajo, Havasupai 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 September 4th. This program has been around for over a decade, is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and won the President’s Award for it’s success.
All concerts take place at the Shrine of the Ages on the South Rim, Grand Canyon Village. Here’s the schedule:
Friday, August 26th, 7:30 P.M.
Robert Bonfiglio Birthday Concert with Joe Deninzon-violin/mandolin, Steve Benson-guitar, and surprise guests!
Friday, September 2nd, 7:30 P.M.
Saturday,September 3rd, 7:30 P.M.
Sweet Plantain perform at Shrine fo the Ages
Sunday, September 4th, 5 P.M.
NACAP final performance


In the past year, I had the pleasure of guesting on numerous cool and exciting recording projects, many of which have seen their release in the past few months. Here are some highlights:

Bella D-The Crystal Ceiling


Here’s aI worked on last year! I did most of the string arranging and playing, plus my dear friend the late great David Gotay plays a beautiful cello solo on “Dio Solitaire de la Notte.” The singer is Bella D and the music is intense, honest hard rock that tells an incredible story of what she overcame in recent years. Produced by drummer Charlie Zeleny. Check it out!

Order here:

Tiles-Pretending 2 Run


TILES is a renowned, Detroit-based progressive rock group, now in it’s second decade, which has toured with the lies of Dream Theater, and has done some shows with Stratospheerius. I am honored to be included on their new album, alongside such luminaries as Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull, as well as Mike Portnoy! Look for some upcoming shows with both of our bands.

Order here:

Pitts/Minneman Project

Jimmy Pitts is a composer/keyboard virtuoso out of Detroit. This is my second time as a guest on one of his albums, alongside legendary drummer Marco Minneman (Eddie Jobson, Joe Satriani, Buddy Rich, Paul Gilbert, Terry Bozzio). I play on the song “A Faint Beautiful Glow,” which closes out the album.

Jimmy Pitts Psychic Planetarium

Order here:



Circuline is a new prog band that I have had the pleasure to record and perform with. This is their debut album, released last year.. Check out the song “Silence Revealed,’ masterfully written by my friend Randy McStine.

Check out the video for the song here:

Check out 3 of the latest songs from Stratospheerius! Our last single, “Take Your Medicine,” is getting rave responses and trending on

 behind_the_curtain cover

Give the string player in your life new abilities to rock out and blow people’s minds!


STRATOSPHEERIUS video for “One Foot in the Next World”