Ben Katzman: Survivor Contestant Teaches Rock Music in School

‘Survivor,’ a part of the international television reality competition franchise, premiered in 2000 on CBS. It keeps viewers on the edge of their seats as they follow a group of strangers attempting to fend for themselves on an isolated island. The castmates face all sorts of challenges and must partake in immunity fights until one among them survives to get the title of the ‘Sole Survivor.’ Season 46 of the hit franchise premiered in 2024. Ben Katzman is one of the castmates who is part of the Siga tribe and graces the show with his charisma, wit, and tenacity. Here’s all that we know about him.

Ben Katzman’s Was Previously Running an Independent Record Label

Born in Miami, Florida, on March 25, 1992, Ben Katzman is 31 years old. He is a musician and teacher who thinks of himself as a real-life ‘Dewey Finn.’ A “motivated, energized and passionate” individual, he is often taken to be a laid-back rocker and surfer by most around him, but he believes the assessment is wrong. Ben considers himself to be quite emotionally intelligent. He is confident of his ability to read a room through distinct awareness. Other than his love and obsession with art, there’s lots more to him than meets the eye.

Ben’s life currently revolves around music, and his initial foray into the musical arts scene was fairly early in life. It stemmed from trying to overcome speech impediments that had left him feeling like an outsider. He founded the band ‘DeGreaser’ in 2014 and traveled the world with his music. His bandmates, which includes one of his former students, Deo Budnevich, have performed with several well-known musicians like Mannequin Pussy, Colleen Green, La Luz, and Tall Juan all across the US. His exploits have led him to meet with his idol Nicholas Cage and Kiss, one of his ‘spirit guides’ other than Van Halen and the Ramones. So far, he has released six albums. The last one was in December 2023, called ‘Transcendental Shreditation.’

However, before becoming known in the rock music scene, Ben had dropped out of college at age 22 and had run an independent record label, BUFU Records, till he was 25. The musicians he produced would go on to perform in festivals and tour the world. But Ben felt like this wasn’t his true calling. After hustling for years and attempting to live his life out of a suitcase while trying to chase his dreams, Ben became more concerned with his status and appearance. He didn’t like being someone who merely enjoyed his work and loved what he did. This is what led Ben to quit his newfound success and look for ways to fall in love with his life again.

Ben Katzman’s Foray Into Teaching Music Was Accidental

In conversation with Parade, Ben shares that he’d never intended to become a teacher. Having grown up with educators who weren’t really positive role models, Ben wasn’t very inclined to a role that wouldn’t serve much purpose. He didn’t wish to focus on technicality with students. Instead, he opted for a rather emotional and spiritual approach. After going through “a quarter-life crisis,” as he calls it, Ben decided to quit the grind and take on a job at Whole Foods. Working the graveyard shift with no connections outside was quite challenging for him.

However, when his friend offered him the chance to teach in the former’s new music school, despite his hesitancy, Ben took on the challenge. It turned out to be one of his best decisions ever, as he’s still got his first-ever student with him, and he absolutely loves performing with the kids. His decision to partake in the show was partially for himself and partially for his students, as he hoped to give them a better example of being honest with themselves. Today, Ben considers it to be his life’s grandest achievement to share his love and hunger for the performing arts, particularly rock music, with his students at Wynwood School of Music. He also revels in teaching them ways to express their personality through art. Other than music, he also likes to spend his time doodling and relaxing by the beach.

Ben Katzman Likes To Keep His Personal Life Private

While Ben’s professional life is quite out in the open and visible, thanks to his many achievements, his personal life is just as guarded. Even though his travels, music tours, and students hold center stage in his life, Ben keeps matters of the heart and beyond well concealed. His best friend is Splinter, a furry four-legged senior rescue pup who seems to enjoy grooving to Ben’s music. He also seems to enjoy occasionally getting his mother and grandmother involved in his craziness. However, a look into his social media profiles gives a clear hint as to how he’s currently chosen to engage his life with music. As he prepares for tours and future collaborations, Ben is either choosing to keep his love life on the back seat for now, or he’s decided against showcasing matters of the heart other than his love for all things music to the world.

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