The Gustavian Weekly

Josh Vietti, the hip-hop violinist, comes to Gustavus

By Ben Keran - Staff Writer | November 18, 2016 | variety

The Grammy-nominated violinist Josh Vietti guarantees a unique performance for Gustavus students.

The Grammy-nominated violinist Josh Vietti guarantees a unique performance for Gustavus students.

When you think of pop ballads, Taylor Swift might come to mind. When you think of Hip-Hop, you might be in the mood for some 50 Cent. When you think about the violin, you probably picture Bach or Mozart. When you combine the three different genres, you should be thinking about Josh Vietti.

Josh Vietti is an acclaimed Hip-Hop/Pop Violinist from California. He has performed on some of the largest stages available and has quite the travel record.

According to his website, “He has appeared in an NBA All-Star Game Commercial, has performed live on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown. He has also performed live at Dodger Stadium several times.”

Even celebrity billionaire Mark Cuban had something to say about Josh when he tweeted: “loving @joshvietti… I’m a new fan!”

Vietti has been playing violin since the age of four, something of an anomaly. At the young age of seven years old, Vietti received a music scholarship to play with Mischa Lefkowitz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He spent 10 years with Lefkowitz, working and striving to perfect his art.

Among his accolades, Vietti is a Grammy-nominated violinist who in 2012 was also named by CBS Los Angeles as “one of Los Angeles’ Best Breakout Music Acts of 2012.”

Now, Josh spends most of his time on the road, playing all over the country at colleges, corporate events, weddings, and jazz festivals. His unique blend of music attracts a wide audience by making new tunes feel more connected with modern emotions while remaining in the present. Having sold “more than 50,000 demo CDs from the trunk of his car” according to his Wikipedia page, it sounds like a lot of people would agree.

As Vietti’s contact, Tanner Petroske is very familiar with Vietti’s act and what it means for him to come to Gustavus.

“What most interests me about Josh’s performance is his ability to seamlessly combine different genres. A Josh Vietti concert is not just a sensation experience, it is also an intellectual experience, as you are listening to the fermentation of so many musical styles. Furthermore, Josh is synthesizing his talent with other artists’ visions, and I am sure that is interesting to other music lovers,” Petroske said.

Joel Malwitz is one example of an “other music lover” intrigued by Vietti’s upcoming performance.

“That gets me excited. I really like a good blend of classical instrumentation with pop music,” Malwitz said.

Although his website bills him as a Hip-Hop/Pop Violinist, Vietti also incorporates country, gospel, pop, jazz and classical music into his performances. This, of course, means that anyone who enjoys music will clearly love Vietti’s set because there’s really no genre Vietti fails to account for.

“What I’m really excited for, is to see what kind of music I’m going to recognize,” Mady Struck said. “I wonder if I’ll be more familiar with the older songs because they might fit more with his playing style, or if I’ll enjoy his reimagining of the pop songs I love to sing along to. I’m excited either way.”

Petroske thinks the style of Vietti’s concerts and his skills as a violinist are among a number of reasons why students should attend the event.

“If I was trying to convince someone to go, I would highlight the dynamic nature of Josh’s performances and his mastery of the violin. Also, there will be free kettle corn…and free food is always good,” he said.

Vietti will be performing at Alumni Hall on November 18 from 8-10 pm.