Michael Benshish has been performing on the piano, organ, and synthesizer throughout the Chicago area, Southeast Virginia, and occasionally internationally since 1988. After graduating with honors from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, he returned to his roots in the Chicago area, immediately establishing himself as a respected working musician in the clubs and smaller venues of the area. In addition to his accompanying duties at Conant, Plainfield North, and St. Charles North and East High Schools, he is active as a professional church music director, freelance accompanist and adjudicator, band member/leader, and recording artist. He is also a published songwriter, score composer, and music technologist. Michael has performed and conducted concerts in cities around the world including London, Vienna, Oslo, Prague, Budapest, Paris, and Honolulu, not to mention across the continental U.S.A.
Michael continues to be seen and heard as the "Ragtime Piano Man" in Virginia Beach, Virginia, part of the "Live! On Atlantic" summer entertainment program. His Virginia-based musical endeavors have expanded to include such varied opportunities as the “piano bike” on the Virginia Beach boardwalk, silent movie live accompaniment, and worship music at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Portsmouth, VA.
Michael has continued to write, produce, and arrange for dozens of projects for the live performance and recorded media markets for the past 30 years. Currently working in his own private studio, virtually any project can now be done "in-house" with the depth of industry-standard technology and equipment on hand. Among these recent projects are the recordings of his original "Jazz Mass" and numerous accompaniment and background tracks for a variety of clients.
Whether performing as a accompanist, soloist, ensemble leader, or part of the exceptional “Al Sofia Band” that he has been a part of since 1996, Michael’s artistry is evident in each of his musical endeavors.