The Daily Illini

Acclaimed violinist to teach and perform at the University

Electrical violinist Joe Deninzon is coming to the University to teach and to perform for students free of cost.

Deninzon has worked with artists such as Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Smokey Robinson and Aretha Franklin, as well as performing as a soloist with the New York City Ballet and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

On April 4, Deninzon will teach a masterclass in Smith Memorial Hall at 11 a.m., host a lecture in the Music Building at 3 p.m. and perform at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m..

“The focus of my masterclass and lecture is how to develop new tools and new techniques to be versatile and successful as a 21st century string player,” Deninzon said in an email.

He said they will be working with electronic effects and amplifications as well.

The performance is planned to last 90 minutes with no intermission and will feature original compositions along with jazz, hip hop, rock and classical viola solos.

He will be using the seven string viper instrument, which is an electric viola, and a loop pedal for his performance.

“I want to show the scope of this incredible instrument,” he said. “I hope my workshop, lecture and performance inspire to further explore the world of ‘alternative styles’ in string playing, and incorporate electric instruments into their professional arsenal.”

Deninzon said he also regularly sings and plays for his progressive rock band, Stratospheerius, and for his Latin jazz string quartet, Sweet Plantain.

“I am always happy to share the information I have acquired over the past 20 years as a freelance musician and educator,” he said.

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