About

Bio

I am a banjo player and composer rooted in bluegrass, jazz, and new acoustic music. I have toured with David Grisman, was a founding member of Old School Freight Train, and have recorded for Acoustic Disc, CMH Records, and the Fiddle Masters series. My debut solo album, Heart Lake, includes twelve original tunes with Duncan Wickel on fiddle, Nick Falk on drums, and Dan Klingsberg on bass. Heart Lake was released in December 2019 and is available for purchase at Bandcamp. I am also an ethnomusicologist and Assistant Professor of Music and Traditional Music Program Coordinator at Warren Wilson College.

Reviews of Heart Lake

"It's a distinctive genre-jumping sound, simple but rarely straight-forward, one that allows each of the players to contribute in subtle yet suggestive ways...Subtlety and complexity coexist within the framework of each of these entries, offering a new musical experience for your ears. Kudos to Krakauer for providing such an intriguing set of songs, one that broadens the bluegrass boundaries while also piercing further parameters in the process." - Bluegrass Today


"The compositions are inventive and the playing is top-notch." - C-VILLE Weekly


"Ben is an extraordinarily creative force on the instrument, and this recording has his variety of musical influences on full display." - The Picky Fingers Banjo Podcast


Praise for Ben Krakauer

“Ben Krakauer is one of my favorite banjo players and favorite human beings. His banjo playing is incredibly swinging, grooving, and wildly inventive, but always grounded in the best of tradition. He’s got a fertile brain and I love talking to him about all things musical. Check him out right now!” - Matt Glaser, jazz violinist & Artistic Director of the American Roots Music Program at Berklee College of Music

Video

Duncan Wickel (fiddle)

Nick Falk (drums)

Joseph Plowman (bass)

Ben Krakauer (banjo)


"Other Suns" written by Ben Krakauer

Evan Felts Studio, NYC, April 2019

"Ruqiyyah and Andrew's Waltz"

Written by Ben Krakauer

Randolph, VT, January 2020

​Recorded by Brian Carroll

Joe K. Walsh (mandolin)

Dan Klingsberg (bass)

Ben Krakauer (banjo)

"This One" written by Ben Krakauer

​Randolph, VT, January 2019

​Duncan Wickel (fiddle)

Nick Falk (drums)

Dan Klingsberg (bass)

Ben Krakauer (banjo)


"Blues for Grant" written by Ben Krakauer

WTJU, Charlottesville, VA, February 2020


Duncan Wickel (fiddle, vocals)

Nick Falk (drums)

Dan Klingsberg (bass)

Ben Krakauer (banjo)

WTJU, Charlottesville, VA, February 2020


Duncan Wickel (fiddle)

Nick Falk (drums)

Dan Klingsberg (bass)

Ben Krakauer (banjo)


"Other Suns" written by Ben Krakauer

WTJU, Charlottesville, VA, February 2020


Jody Stecher (fiddle, vocals)

Courtney Hartman (guitar, vocals)

Ben Krakauer (banjo)


Shasta Music Summit, July 2015