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Who is Benji?
Note: This bio is ancient, and will probably be revised soon, at a time coinciding with the release of the new CD.
Solo banjo music, which dates back at least to the late 1700s, is a highly neglected art form. Benjamin Flaming is breathing new life into this frequently overlooked style of music. Benji, once described as a "Banjo Prodigy" by Minnesota Monthly magazine, has earned a high reputation as a musician, and has performed at various events across the Midwest.
His unique sound - described by some as "New Age Banjo" - blends techniques and ideas from many different styles of music, and does not attempt to be classifiable. His use of alternate tunings, unconventional techniques, various instruments, and occasional digital effects, creates a sound which is rich and full. Benjamin also takes full advantage of his custom "Nuvo Graphite" Nechville banjo. This instrument allows him to move the fifth string below the traditional position at the fifth fret, thereby creating many different musical textures not possible on a normal 5-string banjo.
As a solo performer, Benji strives to make each of his performances unique. Many of the tunes he performs are original, a few of them merely sketches for improvisation, taking the audience on a musical exploration of a melody line or chord progression. Some tunes are purely spontaneous, created on stage and completely unplanned. Original material is interspersed with traditional banjo tunes, fiddle tunes, classical guitar pieces, and other music adapted for solo banjo.
Benjamin's music appeals to listeners across the musical spectrum. It is a unique and powerful form of entertainment.