Meet Benjamin - Associate Guitar, Bass Voice & Piano Teacher
Benjamín Schnake Gálvez was born in Santiago de Chile. He started with classical and popular guitar lessons at the age of 10 with Juan Miguel Angel Burgos, and when he was 13 years old he started to study charango, pan flutes and quena with Danny Rodríguez. At that time, he played the Cantata de Santa María de Iquique with the band Rimay Puka, performing guitar and singing. He participated in the Festival of Nancagua 2002, Festival of Huaso de Olmué 2003, and got the 1stplace in the Festival of Alcántara 2005 with the song El Aparecido” of Víctor Jara. At the age of 16, he studied classical guitar and music theory in the School of Music SCD.
He received his B.M. with major in Composition and Arrangements in 2012 from the ARCIS University. During this time and forward, he participated in several traditional festivals and carnivals as a musician: Carnival of Oruro 2017, Oruro, Bolivia; Festival of Virgen de la Candelaria 2008 and 2009, Puno, Perú; Festival of Pascua de Los Negros 2008, La Tirana, Chile; Festival of San Santiago 2014, Santiago de Río Grande, Calama, Chile. After finishing his undergraduate studies, he took private lessons in jazz with Gabriel Reyes, Ramiro Molina and Federico Dannemann.
He has been a leader, composer and arranger of Awkiñ Antu, Lakitas Zampoñaris, El Quinto Invitado, Los Sayas and Huari, performing across Chile. He has performed as well with the Soundtrack band of the HBO show “Prófugos”, Américo and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago de Chile. he performed in the USA with Los Sayas at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC in 2014, and at the Chilean Festival of 2015 in Bethesda MD. He has released albums with El Quinto Invitado, Los Sayas and Huari. His latest awards are 2nd place in the Festival of Huaso de Olmué 2016 with Los Sayas, and 2nd place in the Festival of Osorno 2017 with Huari.
Benjamin started an MM in jazz studies at Howard University in Washington DC, USA, and participated at the HUJE Howard University Jazz Ensemble, doing a recording at BIAS Recording Studios. He transferred to New York University in Manhattan NY, where he is currently finishing his studies and working as an adjunct guitar teacher. His upcoming recording consists of compositions and arrangements for Nonet and Quartet, in a blend of south American styles and jazz.