Benjamin Brian Lee AKA Baby Copperhead is a New York City-based banjo player, guitarist, and composer. While building on his “otherworldly” folk roots, Lee explores a broken dissonant America, gathering repressed elements from our cultural past — the banjo’s African origins, polyphonic borrowings from 16th century European sacred music, avant-garde improvisations — combined with our modern electronics, samplers, and circuit-bending. Lee’s past collaborations include: Eugene Chadbourne, Michelle Dorrance, Nate Wooley, and DJ/rupture’s Nettle (North African-inspired string ensemble).

Baby Copperhead’s recent projects include: An interdisciplinary performance piece, Room 21, in collaboration with Jace Clayton (DJ/rupture) at the Barnes in Philadelphia; The Zolephants, a protoplasmic surf/spaghetti-western inspired instrumental electric trio; Baby Copperhead with strings, featuring- Tom Swafford on violin, Jessica Pavone on viola, and Brent Arnold on cello

Baby Copperhead has toured throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, and continues to perform consistently in the New York City area.

“Reminiscent of the musical beauty and the imaginative storytelling of Andrew Bird, each of the four songs are absolutely stunning.” The REVUE

“New York’s Baby Copperhead (aka Benjamin B. Lee) can be described with words like “banjo” and “electro.” Backed with cello and swirling deep-space-style sounds, it’s one of the more interesting things I’ve ever heard a banjo be a part of. The song “Howl” is particularly pleasant—with low, careful vocals and tiptoeing, swelling loops, the sheer curiosity of it has a hypnotizing effect.” THE STRANGER

“Combining banjo, analog synthesizers, baritone guitars and handmade electronics, NYC-based Baby Copperhead blends all those instruments to create something we could describe as “sci-fi” folk. The name under the nickname, Benjamin Brian, has been compared to the likes of Silver Apples, Beck, Appalachian mountain folk music, and “Nick Drake abducted by aliens”.

If you’re curious about how sci-fi a banjo can sound, head out to his album release party, “Distress from the Milky Way”, as the artist will hop by Tokyo for a little bit.” TOKYO WEEKENDER

“The banjo visionary performs at an art show Saturday night at Vaudeville Park…………………….
….don’t get the wrong idea about Benjamin Lee, the New York City-based performer and composer who performs as Baby Copperhead. Yeah, he plays the banjo, but he’s not churning out bluegrass. Lee’s specialty is taking the banjo and treating it with a sci-fi glaze, via an electronic sampler, trippy melodies and haunted vocals. This track, with its tumbling banjo line and otherworldly electronics, sounds like some cool avant-garde marriage of Devo and the music of Appalachian mountain folk. Sunday night he teams up with artists Caleb Nussear and Naomi Reis for a music and installation show at the art space Vaudeville Park.”
Alana Harper

“Dystopian back water anthems…..Baby Copperhead is Benjamin B. Lee, an ex-European, ex-North Carolinian banjo player currently based in New York. Get this: he studied under Tony Trischka, who also taught Béla Fleck and is probably one of the greatest banjo players in the world. There’s a sense of urgency just below the surface of Lee’s songs, no matter if they’re fast or slow. His playing ranges from standard banjo shredding to moments that recall the soundtrack of Antonia Bird’s Ravenous. Tonight, he’s joined by NYC luminaries Emily Manzo on prepared piano, Brent Arnold on cello, Joey Johnson on keys and Anthony Johnson on drums. With his genre-warping skills and this crew backing him, Baby Copperhead will take it to the next level.”  Vincent Geels , BEACON PASS

“The banjo is an underrated instrument. Don’t get me wrong, lots of bands do all kinds of great bluegrass-infused stuff with it, but that’s pretty much the only place you’ll find a banjo these days. The banjo has a bigger reach than just nostalgia, and its spidery sound hasn’t fully been explored. Enter Baby Copperhead, who pairs the banjo with synthesizer and weird vocal tricks to create a haunted atmosphere that is completely unlike, say, Yonder Mountain String Band. In Baby Copperhead’s hands, the banjo sounds otherworldly, like an instrument from a science-fiction movie. After a couple tracks, you’ll forget all about the riff from Deliverance and wake up to the possibilities that Baby Copperhead has just begun to harness. ”
Paul Constant

“Baby Copperhead, the stage name of Benjamin B. Lee, will work wonders with a banjo, displaying chops as well as a facility for loops and samplers used to make otherworldly sounds.”  THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Sullen but quick vocals done with The Church-like fashion match a hyper-kinetic banjo both belonging to one Benjamin Lee and form a sound that ranges from dreamlike to possessed…and a performance that never lets up.”  METROMIX NEW YORK

“New York needs more banjo virtuosos like Benjamin Lee, who takes the banjo off the front porch and into a new and beautiful universe”  Claire Sheffchik THE FASTER TIMES

“Der in New York verankerte Folk-/Electronickünstler zog als Jugendlicher von Wohlen in die USA. Jetzt ist er a.k.a. Benjamin B. Lee zurück. Seine dissonanten Banjokompositionen gibt es am 28. Mai live in der Kulturbeiz”

“Benjamin B. Lee is known for adding an edge that is strictly rock & roll, as in post-Black Flag, but also has an extremely gentle side expressed wherever possible in the bands multi-chapter presentations.” Eugene Chadbourne

“As the two dancers trade steps, with a group of others clapping loudly at the back of the stage, Benjamin B. Lee strums a guitar, and Ms. Dorrance serenades Ms. Sumbry-Edwards by wailing the lyrics.”  Gia Kourlas NY TIMES

Baby Copperhead featured on

Thursday, November 18th
258 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn
with Gravid Wives, Miwa Gemini, DJs City Fun

Sunday, November 7th
702 Union Street, Brooklyn
10pm late show
with Hosannas(Portland)