From the day Ben Plotnick was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada his life has revolved
almost entirely around music. Since his early start playing classical violin, he has found
himself as a bit of a musical chameleon in musical worlds such as Folk, Country, Celtic, Jazz,
Rock, and many areas of world music as well. Ben’s involved musical adolescence included
performances with several groups & organizations for notable audiences (such as Her Royal
Highness Queen Elizabeth the 2nd) across four continents, from an early age.
As a freelance performer and session musician with stints in Calgary, Toronto and now
Nashville, Ben has recorded on upwards of 100 professional albums and performed on
thousands of stages ranging anywhere from house concerts to arenas. His list of credits
includes countless high-level acts largely in (but not limited to) the worlds of folk, Americana
and country music. These days, Ben spends the bulk of his time touring, writing and
recording with creative projects The Fretless (2017 Juno award winner and 3-time nominee, 6 Canadian Folk Music Awards) and Oliver the Crow (ensemble of the year nominee at the 2020 Canadian Folk Music Awards, called ‘exquisite’ and an ‘inspired collaboration’ by NPR).
Amidst performances around the world, he continues to work as a session musician and
string arranger in Nashville. His arrangements for strings, winds and in some cases
symphony orchestras feature on a vast array of professional albums, stages and halls
around the world.
His improvisation method book was released in 2015. “Vio Lingo: A comprehensive guide to
learning the language of violin improvisation”, is now on its 5th printing and has been highly
sought after in fiddle communities across the continent. Exclaim.ca writes of his 2016 solo record ‘Greenland’: “(Plotnick’s) instrumental wizardry,paired with danceable rhythm, will have half the audience listening intently while the rest tears up the floorboards”. 2021 saw the release of ‘Madison Archives’ with banjo player Frank Evans (of The Slocan Ramblers), a duo album named “Instrumental Album of the Year” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards and nominated at the Juno Awards.
Whether he’s performing for 30 or 30,000 people, with a country band, folk string quartet or
a bluegrass group, in a bar or on a festival stage, Ben continues to define himself as one of
folk music’s elite fiddle players.
Oliver The Crow