The Richland 2 School District Honors Orchestras will present one concert on Friday, January 31 in the District Auditorium, featuring electric violinist and recording artist Joe Deninzon. The district auditorium is at 7500 Brookfield Rd, Columbia, SC 29223. The District Honors concert begins at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
The program will include original songs by Joe, as well as some of his arrangements of popular songs from The Beatles, Queen, and Pink Floyd.
Joe Deninzon, the music world’s expert on alternative violin techniques, will also lead a two-day workshop with Richland Two District Honors Orchestra students, focusing on rock stylings and improvisation. A musician who transcends many genres.
Joe has also recorded and performed with a variety of artists including Renaissance, In Continuum, Thank You Scientist, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Everclear, Ritchie Blackmore, Smokey Robinson, Johnny Mathis, Les Paul, Phoebe Snow, Jane Monheit, Robert Bonfiglio, and President Bill Clinton.
An active clinician, he has taught at Mark O’Connor’s renowned String Camp and Mark Wood’s Rock Orchestra Camp. He leads the crossover prog band Stratospheerius, which was a winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Additionally, he was awarded the Online People’s Choice Awards in the Cornucopia Festival, and named “Best Jam Band” in Musician’s Atlas Independent Music Awards.
He is also a member of the classical Hip Hop Latin Jazz String Quartet, Sweet Plantain. Joe is the author of the Mel Bay instructional violin book, PLUGGING IN: A Guide to Gear and New Techniques for the 21st Century Violinist.
The concert and clinics are made possible through the generous support of Parents, Students, and Richland School District 2.
Progressive rock band Mars Hollow has announced that they will be recording a new album after a nearly 5-year hiatus. The announcement was made during a semi-reunion show and subsequent radio interview in June, and came on the heels of a show billed as “John Baker and Steve Mauk Perform the Music of Mars Hollow” in Chicago. The show was the first time Mars Hollow has performed live since May, 2012. The most recent studio effort from the group was the track “So Far Away,” which also had a video release and was included on the Mars Hollow Live album. The album, also available on DVD, documented the band’s ‘Church of Prog’ spot at RosFest, 2011 and was released in Fall of 2012.
However, guitarist and lead vocalist John Baker says that the new band will update both its name and line-up to fit the spirit and music of the new incarnation, and will be called “Life After Mars.” The band’s debut album release is tentatively scheduled for Summer, 2018.
Says John, “As Life After Mars is the newly reformed incarnation of Mars Hollow, the best way to explain it is ‘Mars Hollow…the Next Generation.”
Mars Hollow landed on the progressive rock scene in 2010 with their self-titled debut album, produced by Ronan Chris Murphy, and followed up in 2011 with “World In Front of Me,” co-produced by Mars Hollow’s John Baker and Billy Sherwood, now of Yes. Playing festivals and numerous gigs in the USA, Mexico and Canada, the band also played and toured with Billy Sherwood’s Circa, and received accolades and positive reviews for several years. In the spirit of progressive rock, “Life After Mars” seems a natural progression.
Says John, “I think of this as good timing. A perfect time to rethink your mindset, and have a new jumping off point. At one time, walking on the moon, or landing on Mars was the future. Everyone wondered if there was life on mars, and now they are talking about colonization of Mars. Truly, the FUTURE is life AFTER mars.”
Life After Mars features:
John Baker – lead vocals and guitars
Don Schiff – NS stick, various basses and string instruments
Lisa LaRue – keyboards
Emily Dolan Davies – drums
Throughout the years, John Baker has held stints as guitarist and backing vocalist for various original bands and musicians, including Christian Love of “The Beach Boys” and bassist for The Little Girls. Since 1995, John has been operating a successful studio business, comprised of music projects, audio drama, and dialogue work. In the music field, John has worked with many musicians and producers, including Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones) and Richie Zito (Elton John, Tina Turner, Heart). In the dialogue field, John has directed, engineered, and edited hundreds of audio books including works by authors such as Robert Ludlum, Danielle Steele and Deepak Chopra. John Baker, an original member of Mars Hollow, is also the lead vocalist for the LA-based progressive rock band, Forever Twelve, who has just completed their 4th studio album, Home, on Melodic Revolution Records.
Don Schiff has worked with some of the best – including Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Pat Benatar, Sheryl Crow, Sammy Davis, Arjen Lucassen among many others. Don is also a member of Rocket Scientists. Having scored soundtracks as well as acted in TV shows and films such as “Live From Death Row” and “84 Charlie Mopic,” he has also received gold records for co-writing for Pat Benatar’s “Wide Awake in Dreamland” and Winfield/Schiff’s “Cerebral Man.” Don is internationally known for his expertise with the NS/Chapman stick. He was also a member of Lisa LaRue’s former band 2KX.
Keyboardist Lisa LaRue has worked with many musicians including: John Payne (Asia), Don Schiff (Rocket Scientists, Tina Turner, Elvis, and more), Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard), Michael Sadler (Saga), Oliver Wakeman (Yes). Esquire (Nikki Squire) and others. Lisa has been awarded Oklahoma Native American Artist of the Year and nominated for other awards including the Hollywood Music Awards, Los Angeles Music Awards, and the Native American Music Awards. She collaborated with Gilli Smyth of Gong on a self-released album titled “Dreamscapes,” and has released 5 solo albums, 1 album with Lisa LaRue Project 2K9, 2 albums with Lisa LaRue 2KX, and 1 album with Federico Fantacone (Fantacone/LaRue – Sonic Landscapes).
EMILY DOLAN DAVIES
Emily Dolan Davies is a British drummer who has been playing since age 11, with full time gigging beginning at age 18. She has extensive experience in many genres as a session and live drummer, in addition to playing with artists such as Bryan Ferry, The Thompson Twins, The Darkness, and many more. She is currently touring with Howard Jones.
Here’s what the press have said about Mars Hollow:
“It’s quite clear that Mars Hollow is a band to be reckoned with. This is no garage band, but a very serious group of players with some serious chops.” – Rok Podgrajšek – The Rocktologist
“If you take a little bit of Yes – mostly in John Baker’s vocals – and a little bit of Rush (also there in the vocals), that’s a bit what Mars Hollow sound like.” – Stephanie Sollow – ProgressiveWorld.net
“Each member of the quartet is a star player in his own right. Their sound is a rocking and melodic mix of the best of Yes & Genesis with a bit of latter-day King Crimson.” – Mike Flavin – USA Prog Music
“I would consider Mars Hollow to be a band that will withstand the test of time for the advancement of the progressive genre.” – Grant Hill – Music Street Journal
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