Diaspora Blues: Steven Bernstein with Peter Apfelbaum and Friends
"On trumpet, and as a composer and leader, Steven Bernstein is uncategorizable."
Nat Hentoff, JazzTimes
Grammy-nominated Steven Bernstein, with Peter Apfelbaum and Friends, presents Diaspora Blues. Originally from Berkeley, these now New York-based cutting edge composer/ performers are stretching the definition of Jewish music. Diaspora Blues is based on the work of legendary cantor Moshe Koussevitsky, and was originally recorded in 2002 with the Sam Rivers Trio. This West Coast premiere includes Steven Bernstein-trumpet, slide trumpet; Peter Apfelbaum-tenor saxophone, flute; Devin Hoff-bass; Scott Amandola-drums.
Steven Bernstein is a trumpeter/slide trumpeter, bandleader, arranger, and composer who lives outside of musical convention. He has released three critically acclaimed CDs, Diaspora Soul (named one of the Top 10 CDs of 1999 by the Wall Street Journal), Diaspora Blues (featuring the Sam Rivers Trio), and his most recent, Diaspora Hollywood. on the Tzadik label. The debut recording by the Millennial Territory Orchestra made many top 10 lists this year. His band Sex Mob has been together since 1996 and has been featured on MTV, Saturday Night Live and NPR. They are currently nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.
Bernstein was Musical Director for I'm Your Man, a documentary on Leonard Cohen released in 2006. He recently filmed an hour-long segment for Solos, on Canadian TV. He was also the subject of a recent feature entitled "Creative Spaces" on NPR's "All Things Considered," and was interviewed by Terry Gross in 2002. Bernstein wrote the horn arrangements for Bill Frissel's Grammy-winning 2004 recording Unspeakable, and has also arranged for such artists as Lou Reed, Elton John, Rufus Wainright and the Bang On a Can Allstars. Recent awards include Down Beat Critics Poll 2006 (#1 Rising Star Arranger, #4 Rising Star Trumpeter) and Down Beat Critics Poll 2005 (#1 Rising Star Arranger).
Peter Apfelbaum, master of a wide variety of instruments, founded the original 17-piece Hieroglyphics Ensemble in 1977 while a student at Berkeley High School, as a vehicle for composing and exploring non-traditional musical forms. The Grateful Dead championed the band, inviting them to open several of their shows. They secured a record deal with Antilles/Island and released Signs Of Life in 1990 (which received a Grammy nomination for the composition "Candles and Stones" and "Jodoji Brightness" in 1992.) The band won the 1992 Down Beat Critics Poll award for Big Band, Talent Deserving Wider Recognition. In February, 2003 he formed the 11-piece New York Hieroglyphics which performed last year at the Monterey Jazz Festival and at Yoshi's.
Thrust Stage / Berkeley Repertory Theatre
2025 Addison St.
Berkeley, CA 94704
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