Born in St. Petersburg, Russia but raised in Cleveland, OH, Joe Deninzon is an unorthodox jazz-rock violinist whose influences range from Jean-Luc Ponty and Stephane Grappelli to Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai and Jeff Beck. Deninzon can be romantic and lyrical, but on some of his harder, more aggressive material he often plays the electric six-string violin as though it were an electric guitar and goes for the type of distortion and feedback for which hard rock guitarists are known. The violinist was only four when his family moved from St. Petersburg to Cleveland with his parents, both of whom were classical musicians. Deninzon's father, who joined the Cleveland Orchestra in 1979, was a violinist; his mother was a pianist. Deninzon was urged to learn classical violin as a child, but as time went on, he was more interested in playing jazz and rock than classical. Deninzon remained in Cleveland until 1997, when he moved to New York and started living in Queens at age 22. Deninzon's albums include 1993's Collage, 1998's excellent Electric Blue, and 2002's Adventures of Stratospheerius.
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