Howard “HB” Bennett
BENNETT: January 6, 1954 – July 6, 2015; Howard “HB” Bennett of Shadyside, surrounded by close family, his best friend and music meaningful to him. Born and raised in the ‘Burgh, HB cut his musical teeth playing with local club bands before moving to New York City to delve into the band scene of the early 1980s. This led to touring and commercial work as well as landing the drum chair with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. After that ended, he commuted to Atlantic City for show work along with a regular jam sessions with David Letterman keyboardist Paul Schaffer. HB also performed and recorded with such diverse artists as Mose Allison, Prince, Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show, Phyllis Diller, Billy Eckstine, Jim Nabors, Emily Remler, Billy Price and Eric Leeds, among others. He appeared on Bobby McFerrin’s debut album and performed on the soundtrack for the feature film “Giant Steps.” After he returned to Pittsburgh in the mid-1980s, HB formed the Balcony Big Band, which he considered his greatest musical accomplishment. Music aside, HB was a film buff, a dog lover and a Pirates fan but he mostly cherished his late parents Harriet and Buddy Bennett, his siblings Wendy Bennett and Brian Bennett and his brother-in-law David Coulson. HB was proud of his beloved nieces Tori Bennett and Rebecca Coulson, and of his nephews Skyler Bennett and Bud, Jules and Hill Coulson. Supported through thick and thin by his best friend and musical ally Eric Leeds, HB also amused and entertained his many friends and cousins, especially Frani Caplan and Lynne Siegel. Services were private. Contributions may be made to Animal Friends, 562 Camp Horne Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.