Peter began his career in 1984 in Portland, Oregon where he apprenticed with many of the region’s top jazz artists until relocating to Los Angeles, California to study jazz saxophone and various world music genres at California Institute of the Arts. After graduating he moved to Brooklyn, New York where he remained for 10 years, finally settling permanently in Reno, Nevada in 2002. He has appeared on more than 60 recordings and performed in 20-plus countries with artists including Brad Shepik, Ralph Alessi, Bobby Previte, James Carney, Joao Paulo, Jim Black, Scott Colley, Ravi Coltrane, Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Peter Erskine, and many others. Peter has recorded eight critically acclaimed albums as a leader/collaborator: Staring at the Sun (MA), The Invisible (MA), Solus (MA), Old School (MA), Lingua Franca (Songlines), Abstract Realism (Origin), Polarities (Songlines), and Redshift (Kopasetic). His newest project, Two Legs Bad, will be released on Shifting Paradigm Records in July 2023.
He 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 world. Currently, Peter is enjoying his 21st year teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno where he is a Professor of Jazz Saxophone and a member of the Jazz Studies faculty ensemble, The Manzanita Quintet.
“…every moment of this CD is thoroughly engaging. That’s not an easy thing to do when you’re singing your songs in the land of the
free.” (****) Jon Garelick, Downbeat Magazine
“…it’s music of a higher order that’s filled with endless surprises, continually coming in and
out of focus, expanding and contracting in fascinating ways.” Dan Bilawsky, allaboutjazz.com
“Alto saxophonist Epstein, a former New Yorker who now runs the jazz studies program at the University of Nevada, Reno, mixes form and freedom with an intuitive rhythm team (bassist Sam Minaie and drummer Mark Ferber) who know how to make the beat felt even when they’re not playing it, and trumpeter Ralph Alessi, who shares Epstein’s knack for creating varied lines that coil and relax with flowing eloquence.” Jon Garelick, The Boston Globe