Instructor of Music, Interlochen College of Creative Arts
Artistic Director for Uketoberfest!, Interlochen College of Creative Arts
Ben Hassenger’s musical career began in the early 1970s when he was arrested for playing “Smoke on the Water” on accordion and singing in animal sounds in the cafeteria at Lansing Community College. It was the start of something special, for sure! After life-changing trips to Vietnam and Hawaii in 2009, Ben appointed himself the "Ukulele Ambassador of Michigan" and works as a music facilitator with Special Education children, teaches ukulele in Michigan school systems, senior centers and nursing homes, at Lansing's Elderly Instruments, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Michigan State University’s Community Music School. He plays guitar and ukulele in the bands Blue Jello and The Ukulele Kings and is the co-founder of the Lansing (MI) Area Ukulele Group and the organizer of the Mighty Uke Day festival, Interlochen’s Uketoberfest, and Midwest Uke Camp in Olivet. He is also a prolific songwriter, with two of his songs about the Detroit Tigers enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.