Peter Epstein began his career in 1984 in Portland, Oregon. After several years apprenticing with many of the region's top jazz artists, he relocated to Los Angeles, California, to study jazz saxophone and various world music genres at California Institute of the Arts.
After receiving a bachelor of fine arts degree from CalArts in 1992, he moved to Brooklyn, New York and has since appeared on more than 50 recordings and toured 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. Epstein has recorded seven critically acclaimed albums as a leader: Staring At the Sun (MA), The Invisible (MA), Solus (MA), Old School (MA), Lingua Franca (Songlines), Abstract Realism (Origin) and his latest, Polarities (Songlines, 2014).
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 United States (Eastman School of Music, California Institute of the Arts, New England Conservatory) 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. Currently, Epstein is at the University of Nevada, Reno where he is the director of jazz and improvisational music and associate professor of jazz saxophone. He is a member of the jazz studies faculty ensemble, The Collective and has appeared with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, Reno Chamber Orchestra and Reno Jazz Orchestra.
Honors include the 2013 Nevada Regents' Award for Creative Activities and a 2014 Nevada Arts Council Artist Fellowship.