Peter Epstein

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Peter Epstein
Born (1967-01-18) January 18, 1967 (age 52)
Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
GenresPost-bop jazz, Avant-garde jazz, Free jazz, Middle-Eastern jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, Music professor
InstrumentsAlto Saxophone
Years active1982–present
LabelsM.A. Recordings, Songlines, Origin Records
Associated actsEAA, Ralph Alessi, Brad Shepik, Marcelo Zarvos, David Ake, Paolo Jaoa

Peter Coleman Epstein (born January 18, 1967 in Eugene, Oregon) is an American jazz saxophonist.


Epstein learned clarinet as a youth from his father, Ed Epstein, who played saxophone, but picked up his father's instrument in his teens, playing in high school ensembles.[1] While attending the California Institute of the Arts, Epstein studied improvisation and composition with bassist Charlie Haden, flautist James Newton, and clarinetist John Carter, concurrently exploring West African music and dance, North and South Indian classical music and Balkan folk music.

He graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a degree in music in 1992, then moved to Brooklyn, New York and has since appeared on more than 50 recordings and toured in 20-plus countries with artists including Ralph Alessi, Michael Cain, Scott Colley, James Carney, Jerry Granelli, Carola Grey, Paolo Jaoa, Pete McCann, Bobby Previte, Brad Shepik. and Marcelo Zarvos.

Epstein is a founding member of the School for Improvisational Music in New York City and has taught numerous workshops at universities, conservatories, and music festivals around the United States (Eastman School of Music, California Institute of the Arts, New England Conservatory of Music) and the world (Nepal, India, Slovenia, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Portugal, Colombia).

He received his Master of Music Degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2004. Since 2007 Epstein has been the Director of Jazz & Improvisational Music and Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone at UNR.


  • Staring at the Sun (M.A. Recordings, 1997)
  • The Invisible (M.A. Recordings, 1999)
  • Solus (M.A. Recordings, 1999)
  • Old School (M.A. Recordings, 2001)
  • Lingua Franca - With Brad Shepik and Matt Kilmer (Songlines 2005)
  • Abstract Realism (Origin Records, 2010)
  • Polarities (Songlines, 2014)

Sideman and Collaborations[edit]

With Carola Grey

  • Noisy Mama (Jazzline, 1992)
  • The Age of Illusions (Jazzline, 1994)

With Miroslav Tadic

  • Without Words (M.A. Recordings, 1993)

With Marcelo Zarvos

  • Dualism (M.A. Recordings, 1993)
  • Labyrinths (M.A. Recordings, 1997)
  • Music Journal (M.A. Recordings, 2000)

With James Carney

  • Offset Rhapsody (Jacaranda Records, 1997)
  • Green-Wood (Songlines, 2007)
  • Ways & Means (Songlines, 2009)

With Brad Shepik

  • The Loan (Songlines, 1997)
  • The Well (Songlines, 2000)

With Michael Cain and Ralph Alessi

  • Circa (ECM, 1997)
  • Phfew (M.A. Recordings, 2000)

With Pete McCann

  • Parable (Palmetto Records, 1997)
  • You Remind Me of Someone (Palmetto Records, 2000)

With Jerry Granelli

  • Enter, A Dragon (Songlines, 1998)
  • Crowd Theory (Songlines, 1999)

With Joao Paolo

  • O Exilio (M.A. Recordings, 1999)
  • Almas (M.A. Recordings, 1999)
  • Esquina (M.A. Recordings, 2001)

With Tronzo/Granelli/Epstein

  • Crunch (Love Slave, 1999)

With Chris Dhalgren

  • Best Intentions (Koch Jazz, 2000)

With Chris Woodson's Elipsis

  • Control and Resistance (Cuneiform Records, 2000)

With Chris Parker

  • Late in Lisbon (OA2 Records, 2003)

With The Collective - University of Nevada Jazz Studies Faculty Ensemble

  • North (2001)
  • Boats (2003)
  • Balance (2006)
  • Once and Again (2008)

With The Gadfly

  • Bug (Origin Records, 2009)

With EEA - Peter Epstein, Larry Engstrom, David Ake

  • The Dark (Origin Records, 2010)

With Epstein Alliance

  • Epstein Alliance (2012)

With Chris Clark Quintet

  • Cedar Wisely (Songlines, 2012)

With David Ake

  • Bridges (Posi-Tone, 2013)
  • Lake Effect (Posi-Tone, 2015)


The Peter Epstein Website

Peter Epstein at the University of Nevada, Reno


  1. ^ "Peter Epstein". The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 2nd edition, ed. Barry Kernfeld.