Hip Hop and pop violinist Josh Vietti performs at SU


Talented violinist Josh Vietti performed various genres of music such as his specialties, hip-hop and pop, as well as a twinge of country, Irish music and more at the Ceddia Union Building at Shippensburg University on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Vietti’s main goal during each of his shows is to get as much audience involvement as he could. Interacting with the crowd and livening-up the atmosphere is what Vietti strives to accomplish during his up-beat performances.

“Basically, what makes my show is that it’s interactive,” Vietti said. “That would be the key. Interaction. Having fun. If people are not into a certain thing, I’m going to go to the next song,” he said. Vietti started off the show with a popular cover of “Lean Back” by rapper Fat Joe.

“I also played ‘Lean Back’ on the Ellen DeGeneres show; my own classical arrangement to it,” Vietti said. “After I did that, I think the date was Nov. 14, 2011, on Twitter, Reservoir Media, a publishing group that owns the rights to that song and represents Mr. Scott Storch, the producer, tweeted me on Twitter and Scott Storch, who is a mega producer and produced that song and was like, ‘Hey check out this crazy, awesome classical violin version of ‘Lean Back.’ That was awesome because they’re a huge publishing company,” he said.

Vietti also covered “Forever” by Chris Brown, “Flashing Lights” by Kanye West, “No One” by Alicia Keys, “Single Ladies,” by Beyoncé, “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton, “Wobble” by V.I.C., “Amazing Grace” by LeAnn Rimes, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels, “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, “Because of You” by Ne-Yo, “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa, “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson and more.

During “No One,” Vietti called up two girls from the audience and asked them to sing the lyrics along while he played. He also asked an audience member to beat box during one of his songs as well.

During “Wobble,” people went onstage to dance, which got the crowd extremely involved by clapping and singing to the beat. During “Billie Jean,” a male and female assisted Vietti’s performance by having a “dance off.” Due to the audience’s vote, the male won a free CD.

Vietti collaborated with SU music students and included them into his show. One student accompanied Vietti on the guitar while covering “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, and Vietti also performed with the SU string team, as well as with music professor, Mark Hartman.

Toward the end of the show, Vietti entertained the crowd with a “freestyle” rap session, and audience members had the chance to demonstrate their talents.

Vietti said he began playing the violin when he was 4-years-old, and he started street performing in Los Angeles, Calif. around seven years ago, where he was discovered by prominent labels.
He said his interest in the violin began when he went to a classical concert with his mother.

“I was literally singing along in perfect pitch with the symphony, so she put me in violin lessons. We could not really afford violin lessons, but fortunately, I was naturally inclined and soon after, I got a violin scholarship from the Maestro Foundation, which enabled me to study with Mischa Lefkowitz,” Vietti said.

“He is a Latvian Virtuoso violin player in the L.A. Philharmonic. I studied with him over 10 years. That’s where I got my training and technique, but I do contemporary now, like hip-hop, country, R&B, pop and that stuff,” he said.

Vietti said if it was not for YouTube, he does not think he would be touring as much as he is right now. Also, being on the Ellen DeGeneres show has enabled him to book many gigs.

Right now, Vietti is on his three-month college tour. You can check him out at www.joshvietti.com.

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