Born in New York City on September 3, 1967, Peter Bernstein began playing piano when he was 8 but switched to guitar when he was 13, learning the instrument primarily by ear. He studied jazz at Rutgers University with Ted Dunbar, and Kenny Barron. He completed his degree at the New School in New York City, where he met and studied with one of his mentors and influences Jim Hall. In 1990, Hall asked Bernstein to play in an invitational jazz guitar festival in which John Scofield and Pat Metheny were performing. Bernstein and Hall performed as a duo, and have played together in this context throughout Peter's career.

Ray Walker, Peter Leitch and Gary Lee

Alf Micallef, Freddie Grigson, Garry Lee and Peter Bernstein

Throughout the 1990s, Peter was at the forefront of contemporary jazz; he played with Joshua Redman, Melvin Rhyne, Diana Krall, Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart, Jimmy Cobb, Lee Konitz, Roy Hargrove, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Jack McDuff, Lonnie Smith, Eric Alexander, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and Mike LeDonne. Peter is known for his clean, warm guitar tone and his lyrical melodic lines. Guitarist Randy Napoleon said, "Peter Bernstein is the most universally respected and admired jazz guitarist of his generation. In his playing, we hear echoes of the celebrated guitarists of the past, with an unmistakable and fresh perspective. He has honed his playing to the essential core of the music; each note is treated with extreme love and importance."

In May 2014 was invited by our member Freddie Grigson to do some workshops at WAAPA, he also performed at the Ellington Club with Ray Walker and Freddie Grigson and accepted an invitation to be a Patron of our Society.