According to no less an authority than Jim Hall, Peter Bernstein has established himself as one of the world’s most tasteful jazz guitarists because of his “…swing, logic and feeling, bluesy tone, lyrical melodic focus and probing rhythmic phrasing.”
In addition to being the guitarist of choice for such diverse artists as Joshua Redman, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Roy Hargrove, Lee Konitz, Jack McDuff and Dr. Lonnie Smith, Peter maintains long-term collaborations with drummer Jimmy Cobb in Cobb’s Mob and in an organ trio with keyboardist Larry Goldings and drummer Bill Stewart. He has also been developing a distinctive sound as a composer and instrumentalist in his series of recordings as a leader on Criss Cross the most recent of which is Heart’s Content (2003).
Born in 1967, Peter was raised in Manhattan. Captivated by the ragtime music of Scott Joplin in The Sting, his parents nurtured this interest by taking him to hear Eubie Blake and encouraging him to start piano lessons when he was eight. At 13, inspired by Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King, Peter began teaching himself guitar by ear and his discovery of Wes Montgomery – whom, along with Hall, Kenny Burrell and Grant Green, he cites as major influences ” helped him fall in love with jazz.
He studied at Rutgers University and William Paterson College with Ted Dunbar and Kenny Barron before earning a B.A. in Music from the New School in Manhattan, where his mentors included Hall, Cobb, Attila Zoller and Gene Bertoncini.