Hailing from Philadelphia, PA and currently residing in NYC, Benjamin Sutin just completed his BM in Jazz Violin Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and is quickly becoming a first call jazz and world music violinist and educator.
Violinist - Pianist - Composer - Educator
609-353-7546 | BenSutinMusic@Gmail.com |www.BenSutinMusic.com
516 West 136th St. Apt 32. New York, NY 10031
Motivated by a diverse musical palate and burning passion to connect with people of all
creeds through his music, violinist Benjamin Sutin finds himself in the most culturally
varied city in the world, New York City. Since arriving here four years ago Benjamin has
performed in Pandit Samir Chatterjee’s Robithakur (A Ballet on the Life of Tagore) at
NJPAC’s Victoria Theater in November 2011, and most recently with Afro-Cuban pianist
Larry Harlow and his restoration of Hommy - A Latin Opera at Lincoln Center Outdoors in
July of 2014. In an effort to more fully realize his dream, Benjamin has started his own
seven piece jazz band called “Klazz Ma Tazz” inspired by Klezmer, Eastern European Folk
Music, Indian Music, and much more. While continuing to perform around the city in
venues such as ShapeShifter Lab, their debut CD is planned to be released in the summer
of 2015 under “One Trick Dog Records”. This will be Benjamin’s 2nd release as a band
leader, the first coming out in 2009 with his former group, The Passing Tones (who
performed at events such as the DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in 2008). The album
was released under the title “My Pet Jade” and received rave reviews from jazz violinist,
Jean Luc Ponty.
Meanwhile, with an equal love for rock n roll, Benjamin has made his way into the rock
scene upon being called by Tommy Byrnes (Billy Joel’s Lead Guitarist) as a guest performer
with Big Shot, the Billy Joel cover band at the TD Bank Amphitheater in Bensalem, PA. Prior
to this he played in the NJ/PA/NY regional string section for the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s
“Last Christmas Eve” Tour during the winter of 2012 and 2013, performing for sold out
crowds in venues such as the Nassau Coliseum, Prudential Center and Wells Fargo Arena.
Although this satisfied his love for rock n roll, it only touched the surface of
Benjamin’s developing fascination with chamber music. From 2009 to 2011 Benjamin
played in the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey and has recently played as a ringer in
the Manhattan School of Music’s illustrious Tactus Ensemble’s performance of Oliver
Messiaen’s Sept Haikai in May of 2014. However, his main inspiration came in the spring of
2013 and 2014 when he performed in a String Quartet/Piano Trio Concert composed by
Lewis Porter and featuring Jazz Piano legend, Don Friedman. With a growing appeal for a
jazz string quartet, if finally came to fruition when in the fall of 2013 Benjamin Sutin and
Nathan Kamal co-founded “Stringency”.
Stringency is a traditional string quartet that stretches the boundaries of chamber music to
include jazz and improvisation with original compositions and arrangements. With
inspiration from the Don Friedman/Lewis Porter concerts, Benjamin has recently expanded
the group, composing for string quartet plus jazz rhythm section and other additional
instruments. Inspired by a collaboration in the Summer of 2013 with Dancer and
Choreographer, Nicole Sabella (Mark Morris Dance Group), Benjamin plans on using the
group various multi-media engagements in the future.
Born and raised in Southern New Jersey, Benjamin began his musical studies at 5 years of
age with Suzuki training upon noticing the instruments “beautiful voice” at an earlier
concert. He added the piano to his arsenal only 3 years later and has worked as a piano
accompanist for student recitals at the New Jersey School of Music in Medford, NJ and for
Amelia Gold’s “Summer String Festival” at the Elisabeth Morrow School in Englewood, NJ.
Throughout high school Benjamin studied at the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz where he
met his late mentor and guru, jazz violinist John Blake Jr. whom he studied with for seven
years. Out of the many things he learned from John, one of the most critical was that we,
as human beings and artists never stop learning; education is a life-long pursuit. Inspired
by his words, Benjamin has become a sought after educator in New York City and New
In addition to working as a freelance private instructor, Benjamin teaches beginning group
violin at the Harlem School of the Arts and helped initiate a violin program in the fall of
2013 through their outreach department at the Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem (A
School for Autistic Children).
The final highlight of Benjamin’s teaching career thus far occurred in March of 2015 when
he presented a series of clinics to orchestral students throughout the Lenape School
District in Southern New Jersey; opening the eyes and ears of aspiring string players to the
unique realm of possibilities found in jazz and improvisation.
In May, 2015 Benjamin graduated with a BM in Jazz Violin Performance from the
Manhattan School of Music where upon entering the school, Benjamin’s private teacher,
classical and jazz violinist Sara Caswell said the following: “His adventurous musical lines
and underlying creative energy left me feeling I’d witnessed a unique voice destined for