Meet the 13-Year-Old Violinist for the NBA

Violinist Giovanni Mazza has an impressive resume for a 13 year old. The Chicago-based musician entered the Chicago Bulls Youth Talent search at age nine, and though he didn’t win, the Bulls invited him back to perform a few months later.

He’s now in his fourth year playing violin for the NBA, with two All-Star performances under his belt, a Rising Stars halftime act (at ten years old), playoff performances, and two charity events for the Orlando Magic team. On top of all that, Mazza has released five of his own songs, and broadened his sports palette to include the Chicago White Sox, for whom he played the national anthem in September.

Mazza has been playing classical violin since he was three years old, and plays on an ex-Dusinberre Sam Billings 2011 Chicago, acquired from Bein and Fushi Chicago. He has studied with teachers such as Betty Haag, Stacia Spencer, Taka Matsunaga, Clayton Haslop, Davis King, Almita Vamos, and currently Gerardo Ribeiro.


When asked by the NBA to play more modern music, Mazza was assisted by Seattle-based Grammy-contributing violinist-composer Andrew Joslyn.

What’s this young performer’s most memorable experience so far? “One of my best memories is when Bein and Fushi loaned me a J.B. Guadagnini for a week when I was 12 years old,” he says. “That same week, I got to play this priceless instrument on two Chicago television shows [ABC’s Windy City Live and WGN Morning News] and for the Chicago Bulls national anthem.”

For more of Mazza’s playing, check out his Instagram and YouTube pages.