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Benjamin Ring

Born in Oakland, California, to a family deeply rooted in classical music, Benjamin Ring’s destiny as a musician was inevitable. Raised in Piedmont, his earliest memories are awash with the sonic landscapes of orchestral performances. One fateful summer in Wyoming, enveloped by the moving strains of Richard Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony, Benjamin experienced a musical epiphany; a revelation that solidified music as his life’s pursuit. Shortly thereafter, his perpetual finger drumming in the classroom led to his first drum set at the tender age of 7.

By age 8, Benjamin had already made his public debut with the Berkeley Youth Orchestra. His prodigious talents as a percussionist did not go unnoticed, and he quickly climbed the ranks of youth orchestras, culminating in his record-setting membership in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra at just 12 years old. Before even graduating high school, Benjamin had already graced renowned international stages, including Berlin’s Philharmonie and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, performing works by luminaries such as Mahler, Prokofiev, and Berlioz.

Jazz drumming became an all-consuming passion alongside his classical pursuits. During his middle school years, Benjamin was part of the Berkeley JazzSchool’s Advanced Middle School combo. His high school tenure saw him winning accolades with the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars and the Berkeley JazzSchool Studio Band at prestigious competitions like the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival and New York’s Charles Mingus Competition. During this time, he was the recipient of scholarships from esteemed institutions like SFJAZZ, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the National YoungArts Foundation.

Earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California in 2019, Benjamin studied under drum legends such as Peter Erskine, Will Kennedy, and Ndugu Chancler. His theoretical and compositional skills were honed under the guidance of Vince Mendoza and Patrice Rushen. Benjamin recently graduated from the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA, a highly selective 2-year master’s program.

In his professional journey so far, Benjamin has had the honor of performing alongside jazz greats such as David Binney, Billy Childs, and Patrice Rushen. His performances have lit up stages at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Blues Alley, and the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, among others. One of his crowning achievements includes his composition “Mental Gymnastics” winning the Bridges Composition Competition, with its premiere performance at the Ravinia Festival.

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