Motivated by a diverse musical palate and burning passion to connect with people of all creeds through his music, violinist, pianist, composer and educator, Benjamin Sutin is currently residing in New York City.
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. 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 (whos 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.
Just last year, 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 just finished recording on their latest album, released in October. 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 Jewish pop legend Eli Schwebel, in Zhenya Lopatnik's group and along side his Klezmer mentor, Yale Strom, among others. A few years back he also played principal violin in the National Yiddish Theater's production of Di Goldene Kale and two summers ago recorded in a string section for Idan Raichel's latest album.
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.
Finally, he has garnered acclaim in the jazz violin community from the likes of Jean Luc Ponty, Regina Carter, Christian Howes and Sara Caswell. On hearing Sutin for the first time, Caswell wrote, “his adventurous musical lines and underlying creative energy left me feeling that I had witnessed a unique voice destined for something great.” Benjamin has also had the honor of being on Turtle Island String Quartet’s short list of prospective violinists since 2015 though has not yet made the group.
Sutin graduated from Manhattan School of Music in 2015 with a BM in Jazz Violin Performance.
To read more about what Benjamin is up to as a leader, please click here.