Though he has just joined this site six years ago, Mike Benjamin has played solo piano in the East Tennessee area for over forty years at weddings, conventions, parties, anniversaries, concerts, fund-raisers, and many social events. He has played over seventeen years at local restaurants, including Santo's Italian Restaurant, Pigeon Forge, and Knoxville's Regas Restaurant (The Gathering Place), which features fine dining and dancing. Mike has also played most weekends at the Bistro 109 in Sevierville, Tennessee for three years, and has appeared locally with singer Robbie Arledge at the Orangery Restaurant in Knoxville.
He plays a wide variety of styles (jazz, swing, Broadway, pop, light classical, light rock) and is said to have an elegant touch. Numerous appearances with local groups such as the Knoxville Pops Orchestra, Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, Johnson Swingtet, Brad Walker Orchestra, and Rosewood Trio have made Mike well known in the area. Mike plays regularly at the Gatlinburg Presbyterian Church, and plays bassoon in the Oak Ridge and Kingsport Orchestras.
If your event requires more than just a piano player, Mike has played with many professional musicians in the area; two of his favorites are Jack Furnari on saxophone/clarinet in a jazz/swing setting and Al Colombo on violin. (Some duets with Al appear here in Mike's audio samples). Both exhibit the highest caliber of playing and have enjoyed a wonderful musical collaboration with Mike in duo situations.
Whatever your event needs, Mike will be glad to discuss them in a friendly, helpful manner. Particular songs and styles, length of job/sets plus possible overtime, required dress, extra equipment needs; these are some of the topics with which Mike will be assisting you via phone or email. Feel free to contact Mike about any concerns once you are provided the contact information from this site.