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Group Instruction - Ben Haravitch

Instrument: Banjo

Joined Hochstein Faculty in: 2018


Ben Haravitch grew up in Honeoye, NY, with traditional folk songs and fiddle tunes all around him. Always gravitating towards the music of yesterday, Haravitch found his voice on several instruments throughout his adolescence including the string bass in folk groups and the trumpet in high school jazz band.

Eventually a banjo landed in his lap and he started on a self-guided journey through some of the many regional banjo styles of Appalachia, including the groove-oriented sound developed in nearby Ithaca, NY.

After learning to play clawhammer banjo by studying with such masters as Richie Stearns, Mac Benford, and Allison DeGroot, as well as by playing with local fiddlers William Henrie, Joe Dady, and Aaron Lipp, Haravitch developed his own colorful and rhythmic sound which earned him a first-place finish in the 2016 Grassroots Banjo Contest.

He has been teaching private lessons in the Rochester area for three years and has cultivated an easy-going and fun approach to teaching students how to find their voice on the 5-string banjo. Central to his method is instilling in his students the joy of making music with others.

Currently he plays banjo with local groups The Brothers Blue, The Crawdiddies, and Mount Pleasant String Band and is learning to play the fiddle.


More About Ben Haravitch

Hometown: Honeoye, NY

What inspires me: Folk music passed down through generations, spontaneous music-making with other players, our local landscape.

When I'm not at Hochstein you can find me: Kayaking on Canadice Lake, hiking the hills of the Finger Lakes and Genesee Valley.

Favorite Local Restaurant: Questa Lasagna in Mt. Morris

Favorite Place to Travel: Going to Kathmandu, Nepal in November 2018!

What people would be surprised to know about me: I'm a geologist.