Michael Benedict was born and raised in Rome, NY. He studied percussion at the Crane School of Music at the State University College at Potsdam, NY and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. He later attended Rutgers University and graduated in 1990 with a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies. At Rutgers, Michael was an assistant to Dan Morgenstern, the Director of Jazz Studies at Rutgers and former Downbeat Magazine editor.
As a member of the Potsdam Jazz Ensemble, Michael had the early opportunity to perform in concert with Marian McPartland, Frank Foster and Milt Hinton. Michael would go on to work with groups and individuals as diverse as hard bop legend J.R. Monterose, opera star Renee Fleming, the Spike Jones Orchestra and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. He has toured the United States extensively and performed in Europe.
Michael led a Jazz Big Band for ten years until 2004 and was featured in a film titled “This is Gary McFarland”. He went on to form JAZZ VIBES as a vibraphonist and has released two recordings, “The New Beat” and “The Next Phase”. His new CD on the Planet Arts label, “Michael Benedict & Bopitude” features Michael on drums, Bruce Barth on piano, Brian Patneaude on tenor saxophone, Chris Pasin on trumpet and Mike Lawrence on bass. BOPITUDE revisits the most memorable tunes of the Hard Bop era while bringing back to life some more obscure treasures from the past.
Michael also teaches high school instrumental music at Greenville High School.