About BenBen Sandoval came to Arizona from California in 1972 where he had been involved in folk music.
He started playing country music for dances almost immediately.
Ben soon became involved with old time fiddling and then with bluegrass and old time country music.
In 1973 he served as a judge at the Old Time Country Music Festival in Payson Arizona, which was the only event in Arizona at that time that featured bluegrass music.
In 1974 he worked for Bill Monroe as s roustabout and one of five gatekeepers at a bluegrass festival that Mr. Monroe sponsored in Payson Arizona.
Although it was supposed to be an annual event, it was discontinued due to poor attendance.
In 1976 he served as chairman of the Payson Old Time Country Music Festival and was asked by Chamber of Commerce to continue as production and stage manager for that Festival and also for the Arizona Old Time Fiddle Contest, a position that he accepted and held for many years.
Ben organized the Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival in 1979, the Gisela Bluegrass Festival in 1981 and the Prescott Bluegrass Festival in 1982.
Other festivals to his credit include The Mormon Lake Festival, The White Mountain Bluegrass Festival, The Buckeye Bluegrass Review The Rawhide Bluegrass Festival, The Benson Bluegrass Festival as well as The Lakeshore Bluegrass Festival in California.
Ben has served as emcee and stage manager at the Blythe Bluegrass Festival in Blythe, California since it’s beginning when there was only one stage.
He also served as emcee at The Colorado River Bluegrass Festival in Bullhead City Arizona.
In June of 2000 he was a guest emcee at the 25th anniversary C.B.A. Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley California.
In February of 2006, he served as an emcee at the first annual C.B.A. Supergrass Festival in Bakersfield California.
At age 75, Ben plans to continue his involvement in Bluegrass and old time country music as long as health permits and he can make a useful contribution.