She/He Loves DC is a series highlighting the people who love this city just as much as we do.
Whether he’s on the road or back home in the District, Ben Tufts is a perpetual student and dedicated teacher. If you ask just about anyone within the DC music scene if they know or have heard of Ben, it’s more than likely that they’ll say, “Yes.” He’s played over 300 shows in the past two years, with over thirty bands and artists, covering most of the continental U.S. and has become a cornerstone of the current DC scene.
His devotion to his craft is immeasurable. As a percussionist, Ben has spent countless hours over the course of his lifetime playing all styles of music from classical to hard rock and now teaches a wide array of students throughout the greater DC area. But despite his busy schedule, Ben still finds the time to host an annual fundraiser at Jammin’ Java honoring the memory of his late father Craig Tufts, who served as Chief Naturalist for the National Wildlife Federation for 33 years, with the “Ben Tufts and Friends Concert” benefiting the Craig Tufts Memorial Fund. This year’s fundraiser is scheduled for August 17.
What is it about DC that makes it home to you?
I was born in Falls Church, and lived in Reston for a few years before my family moved to the Claude Moore Farm in Sterling, VA. Until I was eight, I had a 300+ acre backyard with a bunch of lakes, ponds, and old growth Virginia forest in it. My closest neighbor was several miles away, so books and records became my best friends. We moved to the suburbs later, and as soon as my parents would let me, I was going to shows in DC. I still remember the smell in the front hall of the old 9:30 Club on F street, the scary bouncers at the Bayou, etc.