Benjamin Swan

Violin Teacher

Benjamin Swan


Brooklyn, NY
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Born into a musical family, violinist and fiddler Ben Swan began studying classical music under his father at the age of five. Drawing on influences as diverse as rock, jazz, classical, country, and Indian music, Ben’s technical prowess and improvisational ideas give him a truly unique and fascinating musical style.

Having studied under several of the world’s greatest musicians and educators(Dr. Yusef Lateef, Dr. Karaikudi Subramanian, Steve Coleman, Julie Lyonn-Lieberman, Will Taylor, Martin Norgaard), Ben has incorporated a variety of innovative concepts into both his playing and pedagogical strategies, the result of which is a truly holistic approach to music.

After spending his youth studying in the Suzuki method and giving solo and orchestral performances, Ben began to experiment with other genres of music during his teenage years. In 1997, he received a scholarship to study at the Brhaddvani Center for Music of the World in Madras, India.

In 2000 he studied performing and arranging with the Turtle Island String Quartet, and composition and improvisation with Dr. Yusef Lateef. Between ’01 and 03, Ben performed throughout South America with The Lima Jazz Quintet and The Benjamin Swan Quartet.

Between 2003 and 2009, Ben was based in Austin where he performed and recorded with dozens of artists throughout Texas and the United States. These have included Leo Stokes and the Grifters, Matthew Ballard, Pieces of East, Hunky Dori, Ross Brunner Band, Johnny Lyon, Quartet Felix and The Fountainhead Ensemble.

In 2007, Ben received a custom-built 5 string fretted violin from luthier Mark Wood in New York. The unique features of this fine instrument helped propel Ben into new improvisational territories and allowed him to expand his bepop and fusion vocabularies. In 2009 Ben began performing original material with the Austin based electric instrumental band Brainworm, which appeared at the SXSW music festival in ‘08, and also released the live LP “It’s Sucking My Will to Live”.

In 2009, Ben traveled to Colombia where he formed the Benjamin Swan Quartet, which featured some of the finest musicians in that country and was showcased at the at first annual Festival de Jazz in Barranca, Colombia.

In 2010, Ben released an album of self-composed works entitled “Luxon/Helix”.

Over the past decade, Ben has compiled dozens of recording credits, given hundreds of performances, and conducted workshops and clinics for aspiring string students worldwide. Now based in New York, Ben maintains a full roster of students, and can be seen performing within a variety of musical genres throughout the city.