Originally from Thailand, Benjamin Pongtep Cefkin is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at the University of Colorado Boulder. His dissertation titled "Kinship, Conflict, and Collaboration in the Performing Arts Between Colorado's Thai, Lao, and Cambodian Communities" investigates the cross-cultural and intercultural relationship between the youth arts ensembles of various Theravada Buddhist ethnic diaspora communities based around Denver, Colorado.
As a research assistant at the American Music Research Center, Ben works on the NEH-funded "Soundscapes of the People" project collecting oral histories about music and culture in Pueblo, Colorado. Ben also teaches courses on Rock & Roll history and Indonesian gamelan music at the University of Colorado Boulder and University of Northern Colorado. He holds a BA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Outside of university instruction and research, Ben is a director of music at Denver's Thai Buddhist temple, Wat Buddhawararam and is a musician and dancer with Denver's Balinese Gamelan Tunas Mekar.