An award-winning musician, composer, vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist equally accomplished on tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar and keyboards, Benjy Wertheimer has performed and recorded with such artists as Krishna Das, Deva Premal and Miten, Jai Uttal, Walter Becker of Steely Dan, virtuoso guitarist Michael Mandrell, tabla master Zakir Hussain, and renowned bamboo flute master G. S. Sachdev. He has also opened for such well-known artists as Carlos Santana, Paul Winter, and Narada Michael Walden. Benjy is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed world fusion ensemble Ancient Future.
In addition to touring with Shantala, Benjy is a founding member of the sacred music ensemble The Hanumen (including Gaura Vani, John De Kadt, and Visvambhar Sheth of the Mayapuris) and has toured and produced two CDs with them since 2009. Benjy joined David Michael and Grammy winner Nancy Rumbel to form the Confluence Trio in 2019. They released their first CD, Confluence, in May 2019.
He began his musical studies at age five, starting with piano and later violin, flamenco guitar, and Afro-Cuban percussion. Benjy has been a student of Indian classical music for over 40 years, sitting with some of the greatest masters of that tradition, including Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Ali Akbar Khan, and Z. M. Dagar. Along with the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, he was a contributing composer and member of the Zakir Hussain Rhythm Experience. Trained in audio engineering at San Francisco State University, Benjy is also very much in demand as a producer, engineer, and studio session musician.
Benjy has produced 18 CDs since 2000, which receive extensive airplay around the world, and his CD Circle of Fire went to #1 on the New Age radio charts. Benjy is also in demand as a scoring composer, having scored for such varied projects as NBC’s Santa Barbara series and the Emmy-nominated documentary SEED: The Untold Story. Making his home in Portland, Oregon, he now tours internationally with his wife Heather in the kirtan group Shantala.