My guest today is Ben Rubin a producer, mixer, bassist, and composer in Brooklyn NY. Whether he’s melding hip-hop and jazz with legends like Masta Ace and Donny McCaslin, playing upright bass at the Newport Jazz Festival with Dred Scott Trio, remixing Karsh Kale or WuTang’s Killah Priest, rockin’ on electric bass with Marshall Crenshaw, or producing Peter Bernstein solo jazz guitar, Grammy-nominated producer/(re)mixer/bassist/composer Ben Rubin (aka Benny Cha Cha) is renowned for making records that are pure or genre-bending or both.
Picked seven times as a “Rising Star Producer” in DownBeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Poll, Rubin has well over 100 album credits to his name. Lately, he has been working with a diversity of artists including Queen Esther, Erik Deutsch & Theo Bleckmann, Steve Conte (New York Dolls), Stripmall Ballads, Rachel Eckroth (St Vincent), Lower Power, Caleb Wheeler Curtis, Drifter feat. Lucy Woodward, Buzzed Armstrong, and Jon Irabagon, as well as labels like Ropeadope, Sunnyside and Imani.
Most recently, Rubin’s attention has focused on Analog Players Society at the Bridge Studio in Brooklyn with APS founder Amon Drum creating cut-up hip-hop instrumental records and jazz albums released on Ropeadope and described by Downbeat Magazine as “truly compelling.” featuring legendary Juice Crew MC Masta Ace described as “in the direct lineage of classics like A Tribe Called Quest’s Low-End Theory, and Guru’s Jazzmatazz.”
Bens production and mixing credits include Walking Distance feat. Jason Moran, Grammy nominated composer/pianist Emilio Solla, and many recordings for Smalls Live Records releasing more than 30 records with jazz greats including Larry Goldings, Louis Hayes, Tom Harrell, Johnny O’Neal, Chris Potter, Tim Ries, Roy Hargrove, Mulgrew Miller, Seamus Blake, and Cyrille Aimeé to name just a few.
As a bassist, Ben has toured and recorded both upright and electric bass with a diversity of artists, including Dred Scott Trio, Patti Smith, James Maddock, Courtney Love, Mary J. Blige, Moby, Bill Frisell, and his own acclaimed, genre-bending band Mudville which I believe my brother Nate played in at one point. Ben has also composed scores for features and short films, including director Nelson Kim’s feature film debut, Someone Else, which premiered at the Miami International Film Festival in 2015.
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