Ben Cruz is a guitarist, composer, and educator based in Chicago, IL who recently graduated from Oberlin Conservatory. His music draws from a variety of traditions, combining forward-thinking composition with an emphasis on improvisation. Ben began playing guitar at the age of twelve, and studied jazz and improvisation from New York City-based guitarist Vic Juris. Ben went on study history and jazz performance at Oberlin College and Conservatory, where he was mentored by Bobby Ferrazza, Dan Wall, Jamey Haddad, Jay Ashby, Paul Samuels, Billy Hart, and Brian Alegant. Ben has performed with Gerald Clayton, Billy Drewes, Phil Markowitz, Billy Childs, Vijay Iyer, Anat Cohen, Dominick Farinacci, and Petros Klampanis, among others.