Sweet Plantain

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Nobody bridges the gap between generations or musical genres like Sweet Plantain, a refreshingly new string quartet. Artfully fusing the western classical traditions in which they were trained with the hip hop, jazz improv, and Latin rhythms on which they were raised, their original writing and live shows educate and entertain.

Separately hailing from Venezuela, Argentina, New Jersey, and The Bronx, together these musicians give voice to a sound that is contemporary, multicultural, and very New York.

The brainchild of violinist/trombonist Eddie Venegas, joins with cellist Leo Grinhauz, violist Orlando Wells and violin/vocals, Joe Denninzon to form the quartet. Members of Sweet Plantain are classically trained and fuse that training with the hip hop, jazz, improve and Latin rhythms in which they were raised, creating a new contemporary and musically exciting sound.Their sound is so unique it captivates both musicians and audiences alike and has taken them to venues across the U.S.A. and abroad.

Review Excerpts

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Sweet Plantain both for my own compositions, and for artists’ I’ve produced. Their playing is very precise, yet passionate, and the fact that they’ve studied both classical and popular music makes them very versatile players. They are perfect for studio sessions as they sound like a true ensemble, and not individually hired musicians. I look forward to working with them in the future”
 – Ryuichi Sakamoto, Academy Awards/ Grammy/ Golden
“What an amazing experience. Blending jazz, Latin and classical styles, this virtuoso quartet brings a freshness and inventiveness to every note they play. The audience was enthralled, and I was simply blown away.”
 – Stuart Malina, Tony Award winning conductor
“One of the most exciting and interesting project I have heard in years…”
 – Daniel Phillips, Orion String Quartet

Highlights of recent seasons

Since 2007, Sweet Plantain’s extensive touring has included performances at cultural centers throughout the United States, Europe, Russia, and the Caribbean – ranging from a 15-cities tour of Sweden, to a performance in Russia’s historic Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, to gigs in New York City’s famed Birdland jazz club.
Russia tour with renowned cellist Borislav Strulev, to include a performance in Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow.
European engagements with virtuoso pianist & composer, Matt Herskowitz, who was featured on Barry Manilow’s Grammy nominated album The Swing of Christmas and whose playing can be heard on the acclaimed Academy Award nominated film The Triplets of Belleville.
North America performances including Northeastern University, The University of Maryland, The Reston Center in Reston VA, The Carver Center in San Antonio TX, The 92nd Street Y Tribecca, The Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Sun Valley ID and The Amanyara resort in the Turks and Caicos.

Education

Gifted educators, the group has also led master classes, educational concerts, and held teaching residencies at Berklee College of Music (Boston), the 92nd Street Y (Manhattan), Celia Cruz High School of Music (The Bronx), Quad City Arts (IL), Summer String Program at the Elizabeth Morrow School (NJ) and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts (Idaho), among many others.