Benjamin Rubie

 

 

Instrument: Violin

 

Biography:

 

Ben Rubie started playing violin at age 5, studying at the highly regarded Opus 118
program in Harlem started by Roberta Guaspari. He currently attends New York
University on the Steinhardt scholarship for jazz violin. At the end of the 2018/19
school year he played in an advanced school ensemble performance at Merkin Hall
alongside jazz violinist Sara Caswell.
He has been a member of the classical Inter School Orchestra (ISO) since he was
11. As well as studying and playing traditional classical repertoire, Ben also currently
studies jazz with Ben Sutin, a rising jazz violinist and former student of the famed jazz
violinist John Blake.
Ben Rubie attended a Harlem School of the Arts jazz program at age 10, run by
renowned jazz violinist and Berkeley College professor Rob Thomas. Ben is also a
sometime protege of jazz violinist Victor Lin, musical director of the Calhoun School in
Manhattan, having attended the Calhoun high school jazz camp twice while still in
middle school. At age 11, Ben was invited to be part of a concert in front of several
thousand people, held in the Central Park bandshell with jazz pianist and vibes player
Roy Ayres and his group, the Jazz Mafia.
In 2016, Ben was invited to play on stage with jazz violinist Regina Carter. He
graduated from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Middle School Academy and was invited to
join the Newark-based New Jersey Performing Arts Center's (NJPAC) prestigious Jazz
for Teens program.
He played with Ms Carter again in 2018 at an NJPAC jazz concert featuring Regina. In
2019 he was hired to played in the adult band of The Tap Dance Kid at NJPAC directed
by choreographer Savion Glover, and recently was invited to participate as a performer
in a Masterclass with the jazz bass maestro Christian McBride. In 2019 he won the
prestigious National Youth Arts Award for Jazz violin with Merit, and in 2020 he won a
second time, this time with Honorable Mention.
Ben has attended the Litchfield Jazz Camp for several years, and has studied
harmony with jazz pianist Orrin Evans, tenor player Don Braden, drummer Matt
Wilson, guitarist Paul Bollenback and others. He has worked under the close tutelage
of Avery Sharpe, (McCoy Tyner and violinist John Blake’s bass player), who said of
Ben, "I haven't heard a violin player swing like that since John Blake." At NJPAC he
has come into mentored contact with many working jazz musicians, and in 2019
session was in a combo led by tenor player Wayne Escoffery, and in 2020 he was
placed in Jazz Messenger Valery Ponomarevs combo.
Ben is among a select group of students who has been invited to play the
Litchfield International Jazz Festival in Connecticut after the jazz camp ended. His
performance in 2019 as a soloist in an unusual venture of the ISO and the Mingus
Dynasty in a combined performance arranged by trombonist Earl McIntyre, at a sold
out concert in the Brooklyn campus of LIU won loud applause and praise from the
audience and the musicians themselves. His great reward, he said, was hanging with
pianist Theo Hill and the rest of the Mingus Dynasty musicians before the show.In 2021 Ben subbed with the NYChillharmonic, a modern jazz fusion big band
with all original music written and performed by musicians such as Adam Neely, Josh
Bailey and Sara McDonald.
Ben recently opened for John Faddis and his group for a packed New Jersey
Jazz in the Park Concert.

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