Sweet Plantain Quartet

Bridging the gap between generations and musical genres.

Exploring diverse music styles within the string quartet format.

EDDIE VENEGAS (violin & trombone)

Eddie Venegas was born in Caracas, Venezuela where he began learning to play 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. Venegas is a self-taught trombonist.

Venegas has been a regular member of Marc Anthony’s band since 2010, touring with Anthony throughout Latin America and the United States. Venegas also plays with the legendary Orquesta Broadway and Grupo Folklorico Experimental Nuevayorquino. He has appeared with Pedrito Martinez at Central Park’s Summer Stage and with reggaeton star, Don Omar, at Madison Square Garden.

Venegas has played with The Hudson Jazz Ensemble, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Jon Faddis, Joe Zawinul, and Victor Jones, including performances at NYC’s famed Birdland jazz club with his own project, Sweet Plantain Quartet.

Venegas has performed alongside world famous opera star, Susan Graham, and with The Harrisburg Symphony, The Queens Philharmonic, The Sphinx Symphony, Saint Martins of Tours Symphony Orchestra, and The Carpentier String Quartet.

Joe Deninzon

JOE DENINZON (violin & mandolin)

Joe Deninzon has been hailed by critics as “The Jimi Hendrix of the Violin”, because of his innovative style on the electric seven-string violin and his compositions combining jazz and rock with Gypsy influences. A musician who transcends many genres, he has worked with Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Phoebe Snow, Everclear, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Robert Bonfiglio, and Les Paul among many others. He has also performed as a solo electric violinist with the New York City Ballet for Richard Einhorn’s “Red Angels.” and has performed, co-written, and musically directed the of Broadway show, “Spider Dance” with percussionist Alessandra Belloni. Joe is the lead singer and violinist for the band, Stratospheerius (www.stratospheerius.com), who have just released their fifth CD, “The Next World,” on Steve Vai’s Digital Nations label, and were named “Best Jam Band” in the Musician’s Atlas Independent Music Awards. He can be heard on over a hundred CD’s and jingles as a violinist and string arranger. A 12-time BMI Jazz Composer’s grant recipient and a winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, his original music has been featured on CMT, MTV VH1, Comedy Central, National Geographic, the Travel Channel, the History Channel, and most recently, the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay-produced film “Virginity Hit”. Joe has released a CD with his Acoustic Jazz Trio featuring guitarist Steve Benson and bassist Bob Bowen, entitled “Exuberance”. As an educator, Joe has taught rock violin at Mark Oconnor’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. He has recently published a book on electric violin techniques for Mel Bay Publications, entitled “Plugging In.” 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.

"As at home in the world of Grappelli and O'Conner as he is in the world of Steve Vai and Jimi Hendrix, Joe Deninzon may very well be our next national violin treasure!!" -Jedd Beaudoin www.seaoftranquility.org

   

ORLANDO WELLS (viola)

Mr. 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, Radio City Christmas Spectacular orchestra, Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra, Bronx Opera (concertmaster), Orchestra of the Bronx (concertmaster), Antara Chamber orchestra(principal viola), and the Ritz Chamber Players in Jacksonville, Florida. He has appeared as soloist with Manhattan Virtuosi, the Harlem Symphony, and Antara Chamber Orchestra.

Mr. Wells has performed and recorded with great artists such as Mariah Carey, John Legend, Rihanna, Harry Connick Jr., Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, and many others. He also performs with many of the greatest shows on Broadway.

A frequent performer in musicals on New York City’s Broadway Mr. Wells is currently assistant concertmaster of the revival of Porgy and Bess.

LEO GRINHAUZ (cello)

Leo Grinhauz was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1965 to young musician parents. After Leo’s 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 legendary Walter 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 included Arthur Honnegger‘s Cello Concerto with Charles Dutoit conducting.

Grinhauz’s principal teachers have included Gary HoffmanJanos 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.

Over the past thirty years, Leo Grinhauz has performed throughout the Americas as a soloist, recitalist and ensemblist including the International Festivals at Marlboro, Ottawa, and Lanaudiere. Heard frequently over the airwaves of the CBC, Leo Grinhauz’s discography includes several recorded for that company. One of them is 1999′s Musique Des Ameriques, a disc of music for cello and piano, and includes Leo’s mother Berta Rosenohl. The family performs together as members of Musica Camerata Montreal.

Highlights include his solo debut at Town Hall, concerts with the late Ruth Laredo, and membership in the Bronx Arts Ensemble, with whom Leo is featured on numerous recordings including Roberto Sierra’s chamber opera El Mensajero de Plata. Other ensemble membership has included Music Amici with whom Leo recorded the critically acclaimed disc Reel Life. The Private Music of Film Composers.

Membership in Tania Leon’s Son Sonora Ensemble led to the recording of Pulitzer Prize winning composer George Walker‘s first string quartet, which has been included in a recently released retrospective of Mr. Walker’s music. 

Leo’s most recent collaborations include membership in the group Musica Mundana, led by Turkish pianist Aysegul Durakoglu, and in the show Lo Mejor Del Tango at the Thalia Spanish Theatre with Bandoneon master Raul Jaurena.

Eddie Hardy's Headshot.jpg

EDWARD W. HARDY (stunt violin and viola)

A STUNT is an unusual and difficult physical feat or an act requiring a special skill, performed for artistic purposes" - Wikipedia

Edward  is one of the principal guest artist (stunt violinist-violist) for SWEET PLANTAIN and routinely performs with the group doubling for violinists Joe, Venegas and Wells

Critically Acclaimed violinist, violist & composer, Edward Wellington Hardy began his study of the violin at the age of seven. He has performed as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician throughout the New York area in venues that include Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Apollo Theater, 59E59 Theaters and The Signature Theatre.
A graduate of the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, Edward received his Bachelor Degree in Viola Performance with Honors. He was appointed Principle Violist of the Purchase Symphony Orchestra for three consecutive years. He was a student of Ira Weller of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Edward is a two-time winner of the Vincent Wagner Concerto Competition (Violin & Viola) and a recipient of the Van Lier Scholarship. Edward is currently pursuing a Master of Music Degree in Violin Performance at The Aaron Copland School of Music. He is a student of Daniel Phillips of the Orion String Quartet.
Edward was a featured soloist in the Colour of Music Virtuosi Concert Series. He performed Vivaldi’s Concerto No. 2 in G minor (Summer) at the Charleston Museum. "Edward Wellington Hardy Tackled "Summer" With Vigor, Control And Expressiveness." – The Post and Courier
Edward is the Composer, Music Director and Onstage Solo Violinist for the smash-hit show, The Woodsman. Named Time Out New York Critics Pick and received rave reviews from various critics. "Edward W. Hardy, Who Composed The Omnipresent Music, Plays The Violin Superbly" – The New York Times

 

EARL MANEEIN (stunt violin)

Earl Maneein is one of the principal guest artist (stunt violinist) for SWEET PLANTAIN and routinely performs with the group doubling for violinists Joe and Venegas

Earl Maneein is the founder of the violin driven thrash/hardcore/punk band called Resolution15. He has been lucky enough for his phone to ring with these opportunities: being the violinist/guitarist for the Broadway shows Burn the Floor and Everyday Rapture, recording/performing as a violinist/violist with Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes), Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Florence + the Machine, Savion Glover, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Mahavishnu Project, Trans- Siberian Orchestra, Eurythmics, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and Phillip Glass, among others. He holds degrees from the Mannes College of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College as a student of Daniel Phillips. Although he is an avid listener and performer of vastly different styles of music including classical, jazz, hip hop, reggae, rock, blues, and so on, his primary focus is defining the role of the violin within heavy metal. Earl is endorsed by VHT Amplification and CodaBow.