Ben is an award winning multi-instrumentalist—violin, mandolin, guitar, percussion, voice—playing roots music from around the world. Born in Lesotho, raised predominantly in Phoenix, with stints in Seattle and Zimbabwe, Ben was raised classically on violin, but now plays a variety of styles—roots, folk, jazz, blues, gospel, world. Ben plays in the internationally touring duo, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, as well as solo and with other local Seattle jazz groups. In 2017, Ben composed music for a dance piece, Black Bois, that has received critical acclaim and most recently played at The Moore Theater in February 2020. He is currently an artist-in-residence for Seattle's On The Boards theater group.
Ben also does community development work, and in 2011, he founded Community Arts Create, a small, arts and community development organization that uses creativity as a stimulus for inter-generational, inter-cultural social engagement. In 2013, he co-founded The Hillman City Collaboratory, an incubator for social change in south Seattle. In 2016, Ben co-founded Black & Tan Hall as a next step in fashioning new models for community empowerment and equity. Also in 2016, he co-founded the Columbia Hillman Arts & Cultural District in south Seattle.
Ben was the recipient of the 2015 Governor’s Arts & Heritage Award, 2016 City Arts Magazine Future’s List Award, 2016 International Blues Challenge winner, and the 2019 Gordon Ekvall Tracie Memorial Award. Ben is a Seattle Music Commissioner, and works as a consultant for arts & culture community development in Seattle.