“New Tradition was responsible for the highest-energy showcase of Mundial Montreal. The band was furiously polyrhythmic and super tight. You’ve got to experience Beny’s gaita (flute) riding overtop of Planet Rock beats to believe it. This band won’t fail to make you dance your ass off while immersing you in the richness of Afro-Colombian heritage” David Dacks, Exclaim Magazine/Artistic Director, The Music Gallery
“Ruben “Beny” Esguerra is leading the wave of young Canadians developing brand new musical traditions, blending their cultural roots with their own unique presence. The result is a sound that is captivating, inclusive and vibrant.” Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts, Royal Conservatory of Music/Koerner Hall
“Beny Esguerra & A New Tradition captures ancient wisdom through the powerful & accessible vehicle of urban music culture. At a time where so many lineages struggle to preserve the wisdom of their teachings, A New Tradition has found a way to fuse the virtues of elder Colombian lineage with fresh beats, intelligent lyrics, and a driving dance grooves. Perhaps most importantly, A New Tradition upholds a sense of class, professionalism, and charisma both on and off the stage… solidifying themselves as not only entertainers, but true educators of world music & culture.” Ehren Cruz, Performing Arts Director | LEAF Festival
Ruben “Beny” Esguerra arrived as a child to Toronto from Bacatá (Bogotá, Colombia) as a political refugee with his parents, who were receiving threats for their 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 and was nominated and chosen as a finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Community Arts Award.
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 (2021)–combines Hiphop with Latinx music styles released through Lulaworld Records.