Born in Colombia - Ruben 'Beny' Esguerra is a multi-instrumentalist, lyricist and arts educator.
As a musician Ruben leads the New Tradition big band originally created to accompany international artists with some of the most sought after musicians in Toronto, Canada. As a composer he has written original scores for the CBC, City Life Film, Amnesty International and the National Film Board of Canada.
As a lyricist and spoken word artist he has presented his pieces in festivals held in Canada; US; Cuba; Venezuela; Colombia and Chile. Highlights include being commissioned by the Remix Project and the Department of Canadian Heritage to create and perform a spoken word piece welcoming Canadian Governor General Michaëlle Jean to deliver the opening speech introducing the 'Ignite the Americas' conference.
As an arts educator Ruben has worked at York University and Ryerson University teaching, lecturing and designing curricula since the age of 22. Ruben currently facilitates workshops through the Ontario Arts Council's Artist in Education Program bringing drumming and storytelling as a healthy form of self expression to inner city schools as well as schools in rural areas across Ontario. He is currently the Program Coordinator and instructor for the the Rhyme N Reason Music and Media Arts program based in Jane and Finch Toronto.
Ruben is a PhD (ABD) candidate in Musicology/Ethnomusicology specializing in traditional and urban music.
Benny participated in the the 10th annual Hip Hop festival held in Havana and Alamar in 2004 sharing the stage with artists such as Obsesión, Las Krudas, Randy Acosta, Actitud Maria Marta, and recently collaborated and presented his original works at the 32nd annual Romerías De Mayo festival in Holguín, Cuba, performing with local afro cuban folkloric groups and directing a performance ensemble of students from the Community Work program at George Brown College.
He also taught experiential courses on Cuban music (X049 FA/Musi) from 2002-2011 at York University.
Rhyme N Reason Music and Media Arts