Beny Esguerra arrived as a child to Tkaronto from Bacatá (Bogotá, Colombia) as a political refugee with his parents, who were involved in cultural work and human rights activism. Today, he is a two-time JUNO nominated multi-instrumentalist/producer, spoken-word poet, arts educator and community worker. in 2021, he was chosen as the laureate of the 2020 Ontario Arts Foundation Arts Educator Award. Most recently, his songs–from the 2022 JUNO nominated album Northside Kuisi–have been nominated for collaboration of the year at the 2022 International Indigenous Hip Hop Music Awards and have won Music to Life’s Hope Rises II song writing contest and international call for songs for social justice.
As a musician/producer and spoken-word poet, he leads New Tradition Music, performing regularly in national and international festivals. As an arts educator, he has designed courses taught at Canadian Universities and currently facilitates interactive virtual and in-person drumming, storytelling and beat-making workshops in schools across Ontario. As a community worker, he is the music director/facilitator of several community arts programs within organizations such as: Vibe Arts, Right Path World Arts, Casa Maiz and Children’s Peace Theatre among others. In addition, he co-leads the NTM Wheel It Studios mobile project which provides access to equipment and mentorship to Jane-Finch artists across different neighbourhoods. Ruben is a PhD (ABD) candidate in Musicology/Ethnomusicology specializing in Colombian traditional music and Hip Hop culture. His latest album–Northside KUISi–combines Hiphop with Latinx music styles released through Lulaworld Records.