Multi-Style String Symposium for String Educators 2022

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Multi-Style String Symposium for String Educators 2022

This is a unique opportunity to explore Multi-Style string repertoire, nontraditional techniques, different approaches to improvisation and incorporating technology under the close (yet socially distant) guidance of some of the world's leading Multi-Style String virtuosos and educators.

Program Dates: August 1 - 3, 2022

Early Bird Application Deadline: June 1, 2022

We are planning for this to be in person, on campus at NJCU (following posted health protocols)

Faculty and Guest Artists include Martha Mooke and Sweet Plantain String Quartet (Eddy Venegas, Joe Deninzon, Orlando Wells and Leo Grinhauz)

Eligibility: String educators (open to all levels, with emphasis on Grade 3 and higher)


August 1-3, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm daily
August 3, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm dress rehearsal and collaborative concert with Sweet Plantain

Costs and Fees



Please note: This program has limited capacity. When the program capacity has been reached, registration will close.

  • Lunch will be provided
  • Certificate for Professional Development Hours will be offered

Contact: Martha Mooke, Director NJCU MultiStyle Strings,

Program Information

Under the direction of electro-acoustic violist Martha Mooke, Director of NJCU MultiStyle Strings, with Special Guest Artists Sweet Plantain String Quartet, you will learn to play and learn to teach a wide variety of styles, including jazz, Latin, R&B, blues, African, Celtic, bluegrass, folk, and rock.

Each day will feature repertoire of varying grade levels and styles, different approaches to improvisation and ways of incorporating electronics with special feature on Latin American music and styles.

Daily schedule (subject to change)

Session 1: String Ensemble Music reading
Reading session ("playlist") with participants of featured styles of the day (TBA)

Session 2: Break it down and work it out
Collaborative discussion of the stylistic approach, non-traditional techniques, notation, performance practice and other features particular to the day's playlist.

Session 3: Technique of the Day
This session will be dedicated to exploring, learning and practicing style-specific techniques including Chop, Textures, Percussive, Strum bowing and other non-traditional methods.

Session 4: Plugging in!
From amplification to 5-string electric instruments, from effects pedals to apps, experience the power of plugging in! Each day will unlock a new discovery!

Session 5: Concepts of Improv
Exploring different ways of improvising and overcoming fear of playing wrong notes!

Session 6: All Together Now: Ensemble Re-reading and jam
Re-reading of the day's playlist informed by material presented and practiced during the day, and culminating in a jam, led by the Guest Artist of the Day!

Thanks to the generous support by Yamaha and Eventide

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Sweet Plantain


MARTHA MOOKE Acclaimed for her electrifying performances and compositions, is a pioneering electric violist/composer, highly regarded for her artistry, music advocacy, and innovative educational programs. She transcends musical boundaries, enhancing classical training with extended techniques, technology and improvisation. A Yamaha Artist and Eventide's first Artist in Residence, Mooke is a leading clinician on electric and multi-style string playing. She has performed with Barbra Streisand, David Bowie, Philip Glass, Elton John, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson, Andrea Bocelli, Tony Bennett and ongoing collaboration with Beat Box legend Rahzel. She is Founder and Artistic Director of the Scorchio Quartet (featured on David Bowie's Heathen CD) which performs as resident quartet in the Tibet House Benefit Concerts at Carnegie Hall produced by Philip Glass. Mooke received the prestigious ASCAP Concert Music Award for creating and producing ASCAP's new music showcase THRU THE WALLS featuring boundary defying composer/ performers. She is a Governor of the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy serving on the Grammy in the Schools and Advocacy Committees.She is on the Executive Committee of the Composer Diversity Project, and Advisory Board of Composers Now. Mooke is Coordinator of Strings at NJCU and Founder/Director of the cutting edge, Multi-Style Strings program

SWEET PLANTAIN String Quartet bridges the gap between generations and genres of Latin American music. The group's diverse repertoire heavily features the works of notable Latin American composers like Astor Piazzolla, Mongo Santamaría, Aldemaro Romero, and Paquito D'Rivera, alongside the original compositions and arrangements of the quartet's own members. Sweet Plantain inventively incorporates improvisation, percussive, and extended techniques that artfully fuse the western classical traditions in which they were trained with the jazz, rock, hip-hop, and Latin rhythms on which they were raised. Hailing from Venezuela, Argentina, Russia, and the Bronx, together these musicians give voice to a sound that is both rooted in tradition and entirely new. Sweet Plantain is the kind of multicultural, chamber music group that can only be found in New York.

EDDIE VENEGAS was born in Caracas, Venezuela where he began playing violin as a child. He moved to New York City to study with Daniel Phillips of the Orion String Quartet at The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, where he obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Performance of Classical Violin. He is a self-taught trombonist, as well as a composer and arranger. Eddie is a member of the orchestra in Broadway's Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations and previously played in Broadway's Miss Saigon (2017), Carousel (2018), and My Fair Lady (2018). Eddie toured for many years with the Grammy Award-winning, salsa singer Marc Anthony as his violin soloist and doubling on trombone. Eddie also plays with the legendary Orquesta Broadway and Grupo Folklorico Experimental Nuevayorquino and is a founding member of Los Hacheros, whose NPR Tiny Desk concert has more than 3 million views on YouTube. His extensive background in Latin music has also included performances with Pedrito Martinez at Central Park's Summer Stage, with reggaeton star Don Omar at Madison Square Garden, with Annette Aguilar and StringBeans, and national tours with Sonia de Los Santos, performing family music for young audiences.

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 Violinlists 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 Masters in Jazz/Commercial violin from Manhattan School of Music.

ORLANDO WELLS attended the State University of New York at Purchase as a double major on violin and viola where his primary teachers were Yuval Waldman, and Emmanuel Vardi. He continued his studies at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers in New Jersey in the studio of Michael Tree. Among the many ensembles he's played with are the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, St. Luke's Chamber Orchestra, Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, Bronx Opera (concertmaster), Orchestra of the Bronx (concertmaster), Antara ChamberOrchestra (principal viola), the Ritz Chamber Players in Jacksonville, Florida and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular orchestra. He has appeared as soloist with Manhattan Virtuosi, Harlem Symphony, and Antara Chamber Orchestra. Orlando has performed and recorded with great artists such as Mariah Carey, John Legend,Rihanna, Harry Connick Jr., Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, among others. He also performs with many of the greatest shows on Broadway.

LEO GRINHAUZ was born in Buenos Aires, Argentinain 1965 to young musician parents. After his father Luis attained a chair in The Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the family settled in Canada in 1970. Leo began playing the cello under the tutelage of the legendaryWalter Joachim, then the principal cellist of the M.S.O. Leo would later go on to work in the cello section and perform several times as guest soloist with The Montreal Symphony Orchestra. His last solo engagement includedArthur Honnegger's Cello Concerto with Charles Dutoit conducting. Grinhauz's principal teachers have included Gary Hoffman, Janos Starker, and Bernard Greenhouse. Leo earned his Bachelor's degree and the prestigious Performer's Certificate from Indiana University, and received his Master's from Rutgers.