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ABOUT

Motivated by a diverse musical palate and burning passion to connect with people of all creeds through his music, Benjamin Sutin has been residing in New York City for just over twelve years where he has made a mark as an eclectic, diverse and sought after violinist, violist, pianist and composer in a host of musical genres including jazz, latin jazz, rock and klezmer, all of which has inspired his own original music.

After being enamored by the vocal qualities of the violin, Benjamin began studying Suzuki violin at age five, adding piano just a few years later. His career began to blossom when he started showing an interest in jazz, just months before his 13th birthday. It all started with a summer long workshop with saxophonist, Odean Pope at the famed Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz in Philadelphia, the only education institution at the time willing to accept a violinist into their program. Soon after, Benjamin started studying privately with legendary jazz violinist John Blake Jr. among other Philadelphia based jazz luminaries on faculty at the Clef Club. It wasn't long before he developed a name for himself. You would frequently catch him on the Philly scene, whether at sessions or gigging professionally, both as a leader and sideman. 

 

Sutin has since had the privilege of performing in venues such as: Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, The Kennedy Center, The Apollo Theater, NJPAC, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Lincoln Center's Appel Room, Smoke Jazz Club, Microsoft Theater (Staples Center), the Nassau Coliseum, Oracle Center, Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Ravinia Festival, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, among many more.

 

Sutin joined Bobby Sanabria's Multiverse Big Band in 2017 for the recording of their now Grammy Nominated and Jazz Journalist Association's "Record Of The Year" album, West Side Story Reimagined as well as  the recently Grammy-Nominated release, "Vox Humana".  He is now a regular member of the group, as well a frequent on-call sub for multiple salsa bands throughout NYC including with Chembo Corniel (whose album, Land of the Descendants he appeared on several years back), Ivo Tirado Jr's "Bronx Charanga", and Joe DeJesus' "Charansalsa" as well as performing with Larry Harlow's reinstallment of “Hommy - A Latin Opera” at Lincoln Center out of Doors. 

 

In 2018 Grant Calvin Weston (Ornette Coleman's drummer for years) released his newest jazz fusion album, Dust and Ash in which Benjamin is a featured soloist on several numbers including the title track, and is the 1st violinist in the albums string section. Benjamin is also the regular violinist in the Indie Rock/Punk band, "TheyThem" and appears on their latest album, released in October 2019. Benjamin also appears on Philadelphia based singer, Kayle Brecher's 2016 album, This is Life.

 

In the Klezmer/Jewish music circuit you can frequently find Benjamin performing with Zusha, Jewish pop legend Eli Schwebel, in Zhenya Lopatnik's group and along side his Klezmer mentor, Yale Strom, among others. He has also played principal violin in the National Yiddish Theater's production of Di Goldene Kale and recorded in a string section for an Idan Raichel album. Additionally, Sutin plays violin for Shabbat Services at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, NJ alongside the great Matthew Turk. 

 

He has additionally appeared with groups such as the Big Apple Circus, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Distinguished Concerts Orchestra, Bollywood star Arijit Singh and Banda Magda among countless others. Also in the pop circuit, Sutin has collaborated with and recorded multiple string parts for Brasstracks and through them, for artists such as The Underachievers and Kemba. In July, 2019, Benjamin also became the newest member of the Brooklyn based Middle Eastern music ensemble, "Baharat". 

 

Other notable collaborations in the jazz world have included David Amram, Ronnie Burrage, Benito Gonzalez, George Burton, Lewis Porter, Don Friedman, Justin Faulkner, Patrick Bartley Jr, Mary Ann McSweeney, Elio Villafranca, Kelly Green, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and Luba Mason. More recently, Benjamin has been getting his feet wet in the underground avante-garde free jazz scene, performing along-side the likes of Daniel Carter, Chris Tordini, Billy Mintz, Roberta Piket and Bob Meyer. 

 

In 2014, Benjamin founded Klazz-Ma-Tazz which has been described by NY Music Daily as “Epically Haunting Lynchian Klezmer Jazz”. Their music, while rooted in the jazz idiom, explores a unique chemistry of worldly musical influences. They are dedicated to performing and recording original compositions and uniquely reimagined interpretations of traditional secular Jewish music, catered to the nostalgically progressive audience of the 21st century.

 

The band has released two albums on OneTrickDog Records, both of which have been heard on radio stations across the US and around the world. Their most recent album, Meshugenah (2018) was released during City Winery’s Klezmer Brunch series which has been a frequent venue for the band, along with other legendary world music venues such as Cornelia St. Cafe, DROM and World Cafe Live (in Philadelphia, PA). In February, 2018 their arrangement of Ukrainian folk song, "Svalava Kozatshok" went viral on Facebook with nearly 20K views. “Wild, yet reserved, the music of Klazz-Ma-Tazz will surprise you, excite you and calm you, all in one sitting”. (Fred Stal, RG Magazine). 

 

On November 18th, 2020 Benjamin released his third album as a leader, Hard Bop Hanukkah, recorded live at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 in NYC on December 23rd, 2019, released on MEII Enterprises. The album features Sam Javitch on piano, Cole Davis on bass and Evan Sherman on drums and has been highly endorsed by the likes of Regina Carter, David Krakauer and Downbeat Magazine.

In March, 2023 Sutin recorded his fourth album as a leader, Mr. Inevitable. The album which features Ben Rosenblum on piano and accordion, Chris Tordini on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums was released on February 9th, 2024 on the MEII Enterprises label. Mr. Inevitable is a collection of original compositions expressing the peaks and valleys of life through music. Each song represents an emotional theme depicting various tropes of the universal human experience. They are written and performed through the lens of Sutin's personal perspectives and the collective interpretations of the musicians on the album. Each song is inspired by a collage of the wide array of musical influences─music from Latin America, Klezmer, rock ‘n’ roll, and more─and cultural roots that have made Sutin's musical voice what it is today, all through the lens of the jazz idiom.

In August, 2022 Sutin won 3rd prize in the 5th edition of the Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition

In April, 2022 Sutin's composition and title track of his new album was featured in NPR's Live Sessions Series and in March, 2024 the song made the semi-finals in the International Songwriter's Competition.

, 2024

Sutin performed in the violin chair for the Big Apple Circus' 2022 season at Lincoln Center.

Benjamin is a proud recording artist for MEII Enterprises. 

 

Sutin graduated from Manhattan School of Music in 2015 with a BM in Jazz Violin Performance  where he is now on faculty in their Pre-College department teaching jazz violin, theory, improvisation and jazz ensembles. 

 

Please click here to read about Benjamin's career as an educator.

Benjamin proudly uses the following instruments and gear: 

 

Nathanial Rowan Acoustic Violin 

Lee Guthrie Violin Bow 

Coda Bow 

Thomastik Strings

Eric Aceto Ithica Stringed Insturments Dual Pickup/Mic System 

Mark Wood 5-String Viper Electric Violin 

Tucker Barrett 5 String Electric Violin

Headway EDB-2 Preamp/DI 

AER 60 Amplifier 

DPA Microphonoe

Short Bio

Awarding winning jazz violinist, composer and educator Benjamin Sutin has been residing in the greater NYC area for over twelve years where he has made a mark as an eclectic, diverse and sought after violinist in a host of musical genres including jazz, latin jazz, rock and klezmer/Jewish music, all of which have inspired his own original music. Sutin began his career in Philadelphia, where he studied with legendary jazz violinist, John Blake Jr. He has since performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, NJPAC, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Apollo Theater, Birdland Jazz Club, Sony Hall, Kings Theater, and The Kennedy Center. He has shared the stage and worked with the likes of Jeff “Tain” Watts, Johnathan Blake, Ronnie Burrage, Benito Gonzalez, David Amram, Banda Magda, Vince Giordano, George Burton, Lewis Porter, Don Friedman, Justin Faulkner, Patrick Bartley Jr, Elio Villafranca, Larry Harlow, and Bobby Sanabria (whom with he's now been a part of two Grammy-nominated albums). In 2022 Benjamin performed in the violin chair of the Big Apple Circus and regularly plays in Congregation B’nai Jeshurun’s band led by guitarist, Matt Turk (disciple of Pete Seeger).

 

With four albums under his name as a band leader Sutin has performed to sold out crowds in venues such as the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, The City Winery, Cornelia Street Cafe, and World Cafe Live and has received rave reviews from the likes of Downbeat, been featured on NPR Live Sessions and been recognized by the International Songwriter's Competition. Benjamin graduated from Manhattan School of Music in 2015 with a B.M. in Jazz Violin Performance where he studied privately with jazz violinist, Sara Caswell. He now is on faculty at Manhattan School of Music teaching jazz violin and  theory, improvisation and jazz combos in their Pre-College program. His own private students have garnered such achievements as being accepted into some of the nations most prestigious college level jazz programs (i.e. Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, NYU), NYC’s top music and arts high schools and gaining award-winning recognition in notable nationwide competitions including the YoungArts Jazz Competition. In August 2022 Sutin won 3rd prize in the 5th edition of the Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition. Benjamin graduated in May, 2024 with a M.M. in Multi-Style Strings Performance at New Jersey City University, studying with the likes of Jeremy Kittle, Joe Deninzon, Dave Eggar, Martha Mooke, Regina Carter, John Benitez, Gary Dial and Jeff “Tain” Watts.   

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