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Peter Bernstein (guitarist)

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Peter Bernstein
Peter Bernstein at a jazz festival in San Javier, Spain
Peter Bernstein at a jazz festival in San Javier, Spain
Background information
Birth namePeter Andrew Bernstein
Born (1967-09-03) September 3, 1967 (age 56)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active1990–present

Peter Andrew Bernstein (born September 3, 1967) is an American jazz guitarist.


Peter Bernstein with Martin Schack organ trio in 2011

Born in New York City on September 3, 1967, Bernstein began playing piano when he was eight but switched to guitar when he was thirteen, learning the instrument primarily by ear. He studied jazz at Rutgers University with Ted Dunbar, and Kenny Barron.

While a student at the New School in New York City, he met guitarist Jim Hall, who offered him a job performing at the JVC Jazz Festival in 1990.[1][2] He then appeared on albums with Jesse Davis, Lou Donaldson, Larry Goldings, Michael Hashim, Geoff Keezer, and Melvin Rhyne. He released his first album as a leader with pianist Brad Mehldau.[1] He has also worked with Jimmy Cobb, Tom Harrell, Diana Krall, Lee Konitz, Eric Alexander, Joshua Redman, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and Walt Weiskopf.[2]

In 2008, Bernstein became part of the Blue Note 7, a septet formed that year in honor of the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. The group recorded the album Mosaic.[3]

Peter throughout his career has played with Mike LeDonne, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Nicholas Payton, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, Eric Alexander, Chuck Deardorf, Matt Jorgensen, Bill Stewart, Larry Goldings, Dario Chiazzolino, Gilad Hekselman and many others.

Bernstein plays a Zeidler archtop guitar almost exclusively. The guitar was made in 1981.[4]



As leader

  • Somethin's Burnin' (Criss Cross, 1994)
  • Signs of Life (Criss Cross, 1995)
  • Brain Dance (Criss Cross, 1996)
  • April in New York (Jardis, 1998)
  • Earth Tones with Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart (Criss Cross, 1998)
  • We Remember Tal with Gene Bertoncini, Mundell Lowe, Jack Wilkins (J-Curve, 1999)
  • Consenting Adults with M.T.B. (Criss Cross, 2000)
  • Stranger in Paradise (Venus, 2003)
  • Heart's Content (Criss Cross, 2003)
  • Guitars Alone with Satoshi Inoue (What'sNew, 2003)
  • You'll See with the Anniversary Quartet (Cellar Live, 2005)
  • In Orbit with Planet Jazz (Sharp Nine, 2006)
  • Monk (Xanadu, 2008)
  • Peter Bernstein Quartet: Live at Smalls (SmallsLIVE, 2008)
  • Live at Smalls with Planet Jazz (Off Minor, 2010)
  • Live at Smalls with Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart (SmallsLIVE, 2011)
  • Dialogues with Joachim Schoenecker (2012)
  • Live at Cory Weeds' Cellar Jazz Club with the Tilden Webb Trio (Cellar Live, 2013)
  • Solo Guitar Live at Smalls (SmallsLIVE, 2013)
  • Ramshackle Serenade with Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart (Pirouet, 2014)
  • Inspired with Rale Micic, John Abercrombie, Lage Lund (ArtistShare, 2016)
  • Humanity with the Humanity Quartet (Cellar Live, 2016)
  • Let Loose (Smoke Sessions, 2016)
  • Signs Live! (Smoke Sessions, 2017)
  • Toy Tunes with Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart (Pirouet, 2018)
  • What Comes Next (Smoke Sessions, 2020)
  • Perpetual Pendulum with Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart (Smoke Sessions, 2022)

As sideman


With Eric Alexander

  • Tell It Like It Is (Criss Cross, 1994)
  • Full Range (Criss Cross, 1995)
  • Aztec Blues (Criss Cross, 1997)
  • Alexander the Great (HighNote, 2000)

With Jimmy Cobb

  • Only for the Pure of Heart (Fable/Lightyear, 1998)
  • Cobb's Groove (Milestone, 2003)
  • The Original Mob (Smoke Sessions, 2014)
  • This I Dig of You (Smoke Sessions, 2019)

With Lou Donaldson

With Larry Goldings

  • Intimacy of the Blues (Minor Music, 1991)
  • Light Blue (Minor Music, 1992)
  • Caminhos Cruzados (Novus, 1994)
  • Whatever It Takes (Warner Bros., 1995)
  • Big Stuff (Warner Bros., 1996)
  • Moonbird (Palmetto, 1999)
  • As One (Palmetto, 2000)
  • Sweet Science (Palmetto, 2002)
  • Long Story Short (Sticky Mack, 2007)

With Mike LeDonne

  • Waltz for an Urbanite (Criss Cross, 1996)
  • Smokin' Out Loud (Savant, 2004)
  • On Fire (Savant, 2007)
  • The Groover (Savant, 2009)
  • Keep the Faith (Savant, 2011)
  • I Love Music (Savant, 2014)
  • AwwlRIGHT! (Savant, 2015)
  • That Feelin' (Savant, 2016)
  • From the Heart (Savant, 2018)
  • It's All Your Fault (Savant, 2021)
  • Wonderful! (Savant, 2024)

With Melvin Rhyne

  • The Legend (Criss Cross, 1992)
  • Boss Organ (Criss Cross, 1994)
  • Stick to the Kick (Criss Cross, 1995)
  • Mel's Spell (Criss Cross, 1996)
  • Kojo (Criss Cross, 1997)
  • Classmasters (Criss Cross, 1999)
  • Tomorrow Yesterday Today (Criss Cross, 2003)

With Dr. Lonnie Smith

  • Too Damn Hot (Palmetto, 2004)
  • Jungle Soul (Palmetto, 2006)
  • Rise Up! (Palmetto, 2008)
  • The Art of Organizing (Criss Cross, 2009)

With Grant Stewart

  • More Urban Tones (Criss Cross, 1996)
  • Shadow of Your Smile (Birds, 2007)
  • Around the Corner (Sharp Nine, 2010)

With Sam Yahel

  • Searchin (Naxos, 1997)
  • In the Blink of an Eye (Naxos, 1999)
  • Trio (Criss Cross, 1999)

With others


  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Peter Bernstein". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.
  3. ^ "The Blue Note 7 Celebrates 70 Years of Blue Note Records With Album Release and 50+ City North American Tour". AllAboutJazz.com. 25 September 2008. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  4. ^ "Talking Jazz Guitar With Peter Bernstein and Jimmy Bruno",Scott Krane,9 Jul 2013