If you’ve never heard of Ruben “Beny” Esguerra, his music and his message, the first thing you should know is that Beny is not a singularly focused artist. He is a producer, composer, violinist, percussionist, vocalist and spoken word artist. Beny’s musical education has been a long and extensive one. He holds a Masters Degree in Musicology/Ethnomusicology from York University, a Ph. D in the same (candidate, abd), and not surprisingly, Beny completed his BA and high school degrees majoring in music. But Beny’s passion for music and arts education goes back even further.
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Beny’s parents were both arts educators and political activists. It was the efforts and message of his parents that had helped inspired Beny’s work. It was their message and actions that also garnered death threats, putting their family in danger. At that time, in the late 80s, Beny’s parents decided it was best to move to Canada indefinitely. “It was totally life-changing,” Esguerra says. “Since we had to go in secret, my brother and I weren’t told why we were leaving, or that we weren’t coming back. That was one of the hardest things–we didn’t get to say goodbye to our friends.”
Beny has taken his life experience and rich musical background to create transformative music that has a message for present day social/political injustice. His first album, A New Tradition mixes traditional Latin music with modern day hip-hop, calling upon his listeners to raise their voices and address the injustice that they see around them. A New Tradition VOL. 2 – Return of the KUISi follows the same modality but is chiefly inspired by a traditional flute indigenous to the Native American nations of Colombia and dates back as far as the 16th century [the flutes dates further than 2000 years according to archeologists but the traditional music it is now played in “música de gaita” (a fusion of afro-native music with Spanish poetry) dates back to the 16th century]. Beny says “[It is] impossible to clearly learn about one’s history and ancestral past because much of it has been literally burned or because of all of the different forms and individual ways the stories are, and will be told.”
With that cultural framework Beny decided to compose A New Tradition VOL. 2 – Return of the KUISi, knowing that without being taught the limitations of the instrument, he may create a new tradition. “Sometimes, not knowing makes you create something new. This is the concept behind the New Tradition Music movement and motivation behind why I wrote this album.”
The album has already received local radio play and recognition from one of Canada’s most important urban arts festival–House of Paint–where Beny and New Tradition will be sharing the stage with other acts such as EPMD and Rocksteady Crew amongst others on Sat. Aug 27, 2016. Not only has Beny been invited to be a panelist in the festivals “Knowledge Conference”–A series of learning events and talks which are part of the festival programming–The track entitled “Condor and Eagle” featuring Cree vocalist Rosary Spence was chosen to be included in the festivals year “HOP2016 Decolonize Mixtape”.
The official release of A New Tradition VOL. 2 – Return of the KUISi takes place Sept. 1, 2016 at Toronto’s renowned Lula Lounge. Beny will be joined by his New Tradition Music family and you can expect a very engaging, multi-media show that will include spoken word, DJ, dance and visual arts interpreted by a line up of legendary Toronto and internationally renowned artists including: Adam Solomon, Melissa Noventa, The FAM breakin crew, Rosary Spence, DJ DTS, Ernesto Espinoza, Luis Orbegoso, Dj Siez Swift, Rhyme N Reason emcees and more. This is a show you will not want to miss.
"The tracks in Beny's latest album take conscious Toronto Hip Hop music into a new direction by combining elements of world music, live instruments, and Spanglish lyrics all with deep roots in the Jane-Finch community"
- DJ DTS, Masterplan Show (CIUT 89.5fm)
To learn more about the Rhyme N Reason music program at PEACH, the community outreach program with which Beny is actively involved, please visit: http://peachyouth.org/rhyme-n-reason-program/
For more information about Beny and A New Tradition, please visit: www.newtraditionmusic.com
Tickets for the official release can be bought in advance at one of the three locations:
- Play De Record - 411 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2G6
- The Mad One Barbershop - 256A Queen St. W (Inside the Black Market); and,
- Casa Maiz - 1280 Finch Ave W #204, Toronto, ON M3J 3K6
1585 Dundas St. West, Toronto, ON
September 1, 2016 – Doors 9:00PM/Show 10PM
$10 In Advance/$15 At The Door
Create The Crisis
416-220-2933 - email@example.com