Interview About Joe’s Book Plugging In

ASTA (American String Teacher Conference) Workshop on Reading Chord Charts and Lead Sheets

Performance with Sycamore HS Electric Ensemble (SEE1). Montgomery, OH

Rock Your Strings!

A Workshop/Performance with Joe Deninzon and Your Students’ String Orchestra.

Your students can experience the same creative growth and empowered energy that string students all over the world have felt from violinist/composer/Joe Deninzon.

Joe will workshop arrangements of rock and jazz-rock -based compositions with your students, and perform with them.

Students will learn:

  • Basic to advanced improvisation techniques
  • A detailed demonstration of effects for electric strings and how they can be used in a variety of musical settings
  • Performances, call and response games and activities that involve the students
  • Question/answer sessions. Discussions about the music business, and opportunities available to string players

In a rapidly changing musical landscape, strings have found their way into almost every style of music in recent years. In addition to classical, country, and folk genres, we hear strings everywhere from rock, metal, pop, and jazz, to hip-hop, electronic music, and funk. With orchestral jobs in short supply, today’s string player needs to be more versatile than ever in order to survive and thrive as a working musician. A good foundation of technique and classical training should be supplemented by an ability to improvise and be familiar with a vast repertoire of music outside of the classical realm. Composition skills, as well as a familiarity with technology are also crucial.

“Joe’s inspiring talents and leadership in the class room was spectacular. Professional, respectful, honorable and encouraging.”

Mark Wood

President, Wood Violins, Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp and Music Festival

“Joe has an amazing ability to connect with the students and bring out the best in them. The transformation of our rock orchestra in his two days with them was incredible. He inspired confidence while always giving appropriate pedagogical suggestions to help the students grow musically. He helped the students with their improvisational skills and helped them put on a very professional show. Joe is very accessible, easy going and professional with the students. Joe is a world-class performer and yet always encouraged and allowed the students to shine. The students had nothing but positive things to say about Joe and it was an easy decision to invite him back a second and now a third time!”

David Smarelli

Orchestra Director, Sycamore Schools. Blue Ash, OH

“Joe is not only a fine music educator, he is also well versed and up to date with all electronic gear for plugging in. Our
students were very intrigued with his session.”

Douglas Droste

Musical Director, Muncie Symphony Orchestra

“Deninzon, a seven-string electric violin virtuoso, has written a remarkable book (PLUGGING IN), demystifying the technique and technology of the electric violin.”

American String Teachers Journal

“If the violin has a future in rock and jazz, it is with Joe Deninzon.”

Relix Magazine

To book Joe for a residency, clinic, masterclass or performance,
please email or contact Anne Leighton ( or 718-881-8183).



Joe Deninzon has been hailed by critics as “The Jimi Hendrix of the Violin,” because of his innovative style on electric seven-string violin. Joe has worked with Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Phoebe Snow, Everclear, Ritchie Blackmore,, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Robert Bonfiglio, Les Paul, and as a soloist with the NY City Ballet and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Joe is the lead singer and violinist for the progressive rock band, Stratospheerius, which has released five acclaimed CD’s. He can be heard on over a hundred CD’s and jingles as a violinist and string arranger. A BMI Jazz Composer’s grant recipient and winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, he has written a solo piece for violinist Rachel Barton Pine, which will be featured on her upcoming CD. In 2015, Joe premiered his “Concerto for Seven String Electric Violin and Orchestra” with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra.

His original music has been featured on CMT, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, National Geographic, the Travel Channel, the History Channel, and the Will Ferrell/ Adam McKay- produced film “Virginity Hit.”

Joe is also a member of the Sweet Plantain String Quartet, which combines Latin Jazz with hip-hop and Classical music, and has toured throughout Europe and the U.S. Joe has also released a CD with his Acoustic Jazz Trio, titled “Exuberance.”

As an educator, Joe has taught rock violin at Mark O’Connor’s String Camp and Mark Wood’s Rock Orchestra Camp, and made repeated appearances performing at the Grand Canyon Music Festival, where he co-founded the Grand Canyon School of Rock in 2006, an annual program for local high school students. He regularly travels as a clinician and has contributed articles to Strings, Downbeat, and Making Music Magazine. In 2012, Joe wrote a book on electric violin techniques for Mel Bay Publications, entitled Plugging In. Joe recently made the Downbeat Critic’s pole for jazz/rock violin, and Chris Haigh’s recent book, Discovering Rock Violin lists one of Joe’s recorded solos among the “Top 20 greatest rock violin solos of all time.”

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.

Photo by Adam Brett Schnee