(Hudson Valley based guitarist, composer arranger & vocalist)
The son of a native Cuban percussionist father and visual artist mother, Benji Kaplan has followed his arts-filled upbringing with a particular focus upon the classical forms of Brazilian music. Fully informed not only in Brazilian and popular music, but also by Jazz, the emerging composer crafts his own mix of Brazilian music ingeniously spiced with the full gamut of his rich musical understanding. He beautifully expresses his unique vision with ensembles ranging from string quartets to wind ensembles of varying shapes and sizes.
His penultimate album – Chorando Sete Chores – features 13 pieces for acoustic guitar and wind quintet. His previous album Uai Sô vividly demonstrates his enormous scope, combining strings, brass and woodwinds in various combinations ranging from seven to twelve instruments. In 2018 Benji released his 5th album entitled Benji & Rita, this time in duo partnership with his wife Rita Figueiredo. Together they explore the intimacy of Voice and guitar, blending intricate harmonies with stories of Rita’s homeland, Brazil in all of its beauty, complexity, simplicity and irony.