Josh Vietti is a HIP-HOP/JAZZ Violinist from Southern California
... WHO ALSO INCORPORATES POP, CLASSICAL AND R&B INTO HIS PERFORMANCES.
Josh has had a meteoric career and has had the privilege of performing for Michael Jordan, on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and on ESPN’s NFL Countdown. His albums have been streamed over 10 million times and he has opened for many major artists such as Earth Wind & Fire, Lil Wayne, David Sanborn, Brian Culbertson and Gerald Albright. But even though he has generated national acclaim, he comes from very humble roots.
When Josh was four years old his mother took him to a classical violin concert by gypsy violinist and Holocaust survivor Shony Alex Braun. Josh immediately was drawn to the magnetic performance of Shony and also started singing along and matching the pitches of the violin perfectly by ear. Josh’s mother recognized this and immediately put him in violin lessons. Violin lessons were very expensive and she would take on extra jobs so Josh could keep going to lessons. Fortunately, when Vietti was seven years old he received a violin scholarship with virtuoso Mischa Lefkowitz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and studied with him for over ten years. Josh’s mom would make the three hour round trip drive from Orange County to Studio City in Los Angeles every weekend so he could study with the master violinist. And then at ten years of age, a philanthropist gave Josh his first very nice violin, a copy of the famous Guarnerius, a beautifully toned classical instrument.
Ironically, Vietti had no intentions of pursuing a profession as a violinist. It was just something he was good at, but didn’t know it could be a career. After graduating from Cal State Long Beach in 2005, Vietti started working at a few “real jobs” and hated it. It was then he started composing string arrangements in Garage Band on his laptop after work just for fun and then started to add beats to them. Immediately, Josh fell in love with the combination of electronic beats and violin together and he made his first demo CD in 2006. Not knowing what to do next, he took a stack of CDs that he recorded and pressed himself, a small amplifier and his violin to the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica, CA and did his first violin performance on the street. In the first fifteen minutes Vietti created a huge crowd and sold fifty demo CDs before getting kicked out because he didn’t have a permit. But he realized he was on to something. Vietti then got a permit right away and started busking for the next four years, selling over 50,000 copies of his demo CDs from the trunk of his car.
His first break was in 2010, when he was hired to play a violin street performer in the subway in the NBA All-Star Game Commercial, narrated by actor/rapper Common, showing NBA players LeBron James and Dwayne Wade dunking while Vietti played an uplifting string anthem on his violin. Then in 2011, Vietti had his second break - appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Immediately following Ellen, Las Vegas called Josh and he opened up for several artists, such as Ne-Yo, Earth Wind & Fire, Fabolous and also performed for and met Michael Jordan at his Celebrity Invitational at the ARIA Resort & Casino.
His next major break was being featured in an ESPN NFL commercial every Sunday and then appearing LIVE on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown. Vietti was discovered for this opportunity from one of his “Hip-Hop Violin” YouTube videos.
Since then, Vietti has also opened up for artists such as B.o.B., Najee, Norman Brown and Rick Braun.
Carrying on the tradition of being hired at sporting events, Vietti has performed LIVE at Dodger Stadium several times, including the National Anthem and most recently a Pre-Game Show at the World Series. He also performed a fifteen minute half time show at Roger Federer and Bill Gates's "Match For Africa 4" tournament at Seattle's Key Arena as well as the recent "Match For Africa 5 Silicon Valley" at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA in front of 17,000 people, which raised millions of dollars for children’s education in Africa.
Josh currently tours the United States performing at private and corporate events, colleges, sports arenas and jazz festivals. He has performed for sold out crowds with a full band at the Catalina Island Jazz Festival, Stone Soul Festival in Richmond, VA, the Lake Arbor Jazz Festival in Baltimore, MD, the Wolf Creek Jazz Festival in Atlanta, GA and the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama City Beach, Florida. Vietti was labeled the “Sleeper Hit of the Festival” at the famed jazz fest in Florida. He has also headlined and sold out his own jazz concerts at The Mint LA in Los Angeles, Joes Pub NYC and City Winery in Atlanta using only his Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages to promote his concerts. With 28,000 Facebook fans, 67,000 YouTube subscribers and 15 million views and 9,000 Instagram followers, Josh definitely has a large sphere of influence and it is growing rapidly.
Vietti recently released a brand new smooth jazz record called “Magic City” on May 4, 2018, which incorporates jazz, r&b and funk on the violin. It incorporates many great original compositions, notable featured artists and covers of some of the classics. Josh is calling it his “most mature body of work to date” and it is already getting major radio play across the US.
Josh has also been interviewed and performed live on several radio stations across the country and abroad. He was featured on the Rickey Smiley Show in Atlanta, Z100’s Elvis Duran Morning Show in New York City, Cleveland’s hip hop station Z107.9, Atlanta's jazz radio station 91.9 WCLK, Eminem's SiriusXM channel Shade 45 with Sway In The Morning as well as Toronto’s classic rock station Q107 with radio host Kim Mitchell. Additionally, Vietti recorded two pieces for HITS 1 on SiriusXM for Stanley T In The Morning.
He was also invited to perform on AXS.TV, a music channel owned jointly by Mark Cuban. Vietti debuted his original song "Street Violin". After Vietti’s performance, Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur, TV Personality and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks tweeted Josh saying: “loving @joshvietti on @AXSTV #axslive Im a new fan !”
Vietti is also concerned with giving back to the community and helping kids and adults in inner cities who display exceptional musical talent but lack the resources to pursue a career in the music industry. Josh's goal is to pull others up the ladder just as he was, to help give them their own platform and to empower and inspire them to let their light shine. Josh tries to stop by schools in every city and does free workshops and performances for kids that may have never seen a violin or think of it as a “cool” instrument. Eventually he would like to see every school in the US equipped with quality instruments, teachers and up-to-date technology that will inspire a new generation of musicians, composers and producers.
And even though Josh maintains a very active tour schedule, he has a beautiful wife and two handsome boys. God, family and balance are very important to Vietti, and he strives to create that balance even in the up and down rollercoaster of the music business. When he isn’t spending time with his wife, kids or touring, you can find Josh at the nearest coffee shop, surfing and paddle boarding, running and drinking wine.
Memorable, fresh and inspiring are three words that perfectly sum up this fiddler from Southern California.