Guitar Sessions: Peter Bernstein Trio
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Guitarist Peter Bernstein has been a part of the jazz scene in New York and abroad since 1989. During that time he has participated in more than 60 recordings and numerous festivals, concerts, and club performances with musicians from all generations.
Peter studied piano from age 8 and by age 13 had taken up guitar, which he first taught himself to play by ear. A diligent musician from the start, he wrote his own tunes, and while in high school, composed three entire scores for school plays. Bernstein studied jazz music at Rutgers University with influential coaches Ted Dunbar and Kenny Barron and also earned a music degree from the New School in New York City.
While a student at the New School, Bernstein met the legendary guitarist Jim Hall, who asked him to participate in his invitational concert as part of the 1990 JVC Jazz Festival. The event featured such guitarists as John Scofield and Pat Metheny and was released as a CD by Music Masters.
That same year, Bernstein was discovered by alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson and took part in the first of four recordings with him. He was a regular member of his group throughout the 1990s.
Bernstein has also enjoyed long musical associations with legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb (Cobb’s Mob) as well as organist Larry Goldings and drummer Bill Stewart as a member of their highly acclaimed trio. He was a member of Joshua Redman’s band from 1995 through 1997, playing on Redman’s Freedom in the Groove CD. He played in Diana Krall’s quartet from 1999 through 2001, performing in North America, Europe, and Asia and making numerous television appearances. Bernstein has played with Lonnie Smith, the legendary organist who was introduced on the George Benson Cookbook albums. He has recorded and toured with organist Melvin Rhyne, known for his association with Wes Montgomery. In addition, Bernstein has appeared in groups led by Nicholas Payton, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, and Eric Alexander. Bernstein has also performed and recorded with drummer Alvin Queen’s quintet. As of 2010, he has also been touring as a member of the legendary Sonny Rollins group.
Bernstein has taught at the Julliard School, Berklee College of Music, North Texas State University, the New School Jazz Program, and the Jazz Conservatory in Amsterdam.
To date, Bernstein has recorded nine CDs. In 2005 he released a DVD, Live at Smoke, with his old-time friends Larry Goldings and Bill Stewart.
Bernstein has been recognized in both the readers and critics polls in DownBeat magazine for the past 10 years. He continues to hone his style through writing and performing and has developed a distinctive and unforgettable guitar voice that is all his own.