Benjamin Lapidus
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2002 PhD  The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY(Ethnomusicology)
2001 MPhi The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY (Music)
2000 MA Hunter College, CUNY (Ethnomusicology)
1995 BM Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (Jazz Performance: Guitar)
1994 BA Oberlin College



Benjamin Lapidus teaches popular music of the Caribbean, guitar, world music, and other courses. Lapidus has also taught Cuban tres and guitar in the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program at the New School University. He has given master classes and workshops on Caribbean music throughout the world, under the auspices of Carnegie Hall and The Smithsonian Institution, and numerous other institutions throughout the United States. Lapidus served as a scholar-in-residence for the Jewish Museum of New York during several humanitarian trips to Cuba. He has published a book about changüí and the music of Eastern Cuba as well as peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on Cuban and Puerto Rican music. As a musician, Lapidus has performed and recorded throughout the world with a Who’s Who of musicians in Spanish Caribbean music, classical, and jazz. Since its inception in 1996, he has led the Latin jazz group Sonido Isleno and has produced five internationally acclaimed albums of his original compositions. Regarded as a virtuoso of the Cuban tres and guitar, he remains an in-demand performer, arranger, composer, and lecturer. His eighth recording as a leader, "Generaciones" will be released shortly and features master musicians from Cuba, Panama, Colombia, and New York City.

Scholarly Work

Changüí and The Roots of The Cuban Son in Guantánamo (to be published by Scarecrow Press, a division of Rowman and Littlefield, 2008).


“!Este bongó que te llama!: El changüí guantanamero y las influencias extranjeras en el son cubano,” El son y la salsa en la identidad del Caribe (Santiago de los Caballeros,

Dominican Republic: Instituto de estudios caribenos, 2008).


Emusica 130027, 2006. Compact Disc.

Teachers Resource Guide for Latin Legends: Orquesta Broadway, Grades 6-12. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 2006.


“Larry Harlow” essay in accompanying booklet, Larry Harlow, Live in Quad. [Fania 1974] Emusica 130153, 2006. Compact Disc.


“Típica ’73” essay in accompanying booklet, Típica ’73: Into The 80's [Fania 1981] Emusica 130130, 2006. Compact Disc.


“El Tres,” in Latin Beat Magazine 15(8) October 2005.


“The Changüí Genre of Guantánamo, Cuba,” in Ethomusicology 49(1) January 2005.


“Stirring the Ajiaco: Changüí, Son and the Haitian Connection,” in Cuban Counterpoints: The Legacy of Fernando Ortiz edited by Mauricio A. Font, Alfonso W. Quiroz, and Pamela Smorkaloff (Lexington Books, 2004).


“Yo tengo sentido, tengo rima: Cano Estremera and the Art of the Soneo,” in Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Puerto Rican Music: RicanStructing Roots and Routes, vol. 2 (October 2004).