Musician | Composer | Educator | Creative & Culture Advocate | Social Entrepreneur
Reality has offered a fertile canvas for violinist, storyteller, educator and community enterpriser Benjamin Hunter’s endeavoring mind.
Cross pollinating multiple artistic disciplines for more than a decade, the Seattle based polymath, award winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, creative & culture advocate, social entrepreneur, and producer has dedicated his life to transforming the world’s stale status quo into a vibrant, inclusive, communal, and compassionate society.
He is the founder of Community Arts Create, co-founder of the Hillman City Collaboratory, co-founder of Black & Tan Hall, and currently serves as the Artistic Director at NW Folklife. He served on the Seattle Music Commission from 2017-2021, and co-chairs the Columbia Hillman Arts & Culture District.
Benjamin was the recipient of the 2015 Governor’s Arts & Heritage Award and the 2016 City Arts Magazine Future’s List Award. In 2016, his roots duo, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, took 1st place in the International Blues Challenge. Benjamin is a 2019 Gordon Ekvall Tracie Memorial Awardee, a 2020 Artist Trust Fellowship Awards recipient, and served a 2020/2021 Artist-in-Residence at On The Boards.
Ben plays in the internationally acclaimed roots duo, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons; as a soloist, performing original works; and with his band, The Intraterrestrials. In 2017, Benjamin composed music for the critically acclaimed dance piece, Black Bois, which presented at On the Boards in 2017, and The Moore Theater in 2020. In 2023, Benjamin collaborated with Seattle and New York based artists to create Untitled, composing the music for a multi-disciplinary production with dance, visual, architectural, and storyteller artists. Connecting all his experiences in one musical language, Benjamin’s music scans the margins and the nucleus alike searching for the stories and intersections where everything converges.
In 2014, Benjamin presented a TEDx talk entitled, When Folk Music Speaks. In 2022, he presented as the season capstone for the Chautauqua Lecture Series, entitled, The Renaissance of Folk. Benjamin continues to speak at colleges, universities, conferences, and events across the country, and is part of the 2022/2023 Washington Speaker’s Bureau.
With so much completed already, determining Hunter’s next step is near to impossible. However, two things are for certain, whatever it is, at least a small slice of the world will be better off for it, and that endeavoring mind of his will forever be insatiable.