Ben Rubin (aka Benny Cha Cha) is a Grammy-nominated producer, (re-)mixer, bassist and composer. From performing at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Cannes Film Festival with Dred Scott Trio to producing remixes for Killah Priest and Karsh Kale, Brooklyn-based Rubin is a musical shapeshifter.
With over 80 album credits to his name, Rubin has ranked high in the DownBeat Critics’ Polls from 2012-2018 as a “Rising Star” producer for his work with the SmallsLive record label where he produced and mixed over 30 records with jazz greats including Larry Goldings, Louis Hayes, Tom Harrell, Peter Bernstein, Johnny O’Neal, Chris Potter, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roy Hargrove, Eddie Henderson, Mulgrew Miller, Seamus Blake, Cyrille Aimeé and many others. The New York Times described his productions for SmallsLive as “beyond reproach.” In 2014, “Second Half,” which Ben co-produced with composer/pianist Emilio Solla, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album. The Rubin-produced “Freebird” by the jazz quartet Walking Distance feat. Jason Moran, is an epic melding of Charlie Parker-inspired jazz and expansive production choices, was released in Sept 2018 on Sunnyside Records. The New York Times put it in its “Top Jazz Records of 2018.” The record has garnered great reviews in all the major jazz press including DownBeat, Jazz Times and Jazziz.
On upright and electric bass, Ben has played and recorded with a diversity of artists, including Patti Smith, Courtney Love, Mary J. Blige, Marshall Crenshaw, Moby, Alan Cumming, Bill Frisell, and his own critically acclaimed, genre-bending band Mudville (winner of a 2008 Independent Music Award for Electronica Song of the Year for “Wicked.”) Jazz Times lauded his playing for its “deep, exploratory tone.”
He recently composed (and produced, performed and mixed) the score for director Nelson Kim’s feature film debut, Someone Else, which world premiered at the Miami International Film Festival in 2015. Ben has also composed and recorded the scores for three short ﬁlms: Paul Pope & Sridhar Reddy‘s “7x6x2″, Nelson Kim’s “Long Distance” and Geoﬀ Quan’s “The Other Way Round”. Rubin and his music have also appeared in numerous feature films and TV shows including: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Going Down in La-La Land, Once More with Feeling, Life in Flight, Slutty Summer, “The Backyardagans,” “Regenesis,” and “Strada” (Finland).
Newport Jazz Festival (Newport, RI) * The Fillmore (San Francisco) House of Blues (Los Angeles, Chicago) * Massey Hall (Toronto) * Duc des Lombards (Paris) * Malmitalo (Helsinki, Finland) * Sunside (Paris) * The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC) * The Blue Note (NYC) * amFAR Cinema Against AIDS (Antibes, France) * Sweet Basil (NYC) * Pine Knob Amphitheatre (Detroit) * North By Northeast Festival (Toronto) * Darien Lake Amphitheatre (Buffalo, NY) * Mountain Stage (Princeton, WV) * Charlie Parker Jazz Festival (NYC) * Hard Rock Hotel (Orlando) * Friehofer’s Jazz Festival (Saratoga Springs, NY) * Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival (Oak Hill, NY) * UCLA Jazz Festival (Los Angeles) * Rochester (NY) Jazz Festival * Yoshi’s Nightspot (Oakland, CA) * Irving Plaza (NYC) * BAM Harvey Theatre (Brooklyn) * Smalls Jazz Club (NYC) * Great American Music Hall (San Francisco) * Sun7 (Cannes, France) * Theatre St. Denis (Montreal) * Tulip Festival (Ottawa) * Somerville Theatre (Somerville, MA) * 9:30 Club (Washington, D.C.) * Hillside Festival (Guelph, ON) * Joe’s Pub (NYC) * Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA) * Miekkaniemi (Viitasaari, Finland) * National Sawdust (NYC)