Primary Instrument: Band/ensemble/orchestra
Drummer Chuck Bernstein was born in San Francisco California on October 28, 1940. He studied tap dance (1951-1953) and sang in the Beth Israel Junior Choir (1954-1955). Mainly self-taught, Chuck began playing drums in August 1955. Later, he studied with Art Flower at Drumland (1964-1965), John Rae (1964), George Marsh (1979-1981), and Scott Morris (1994-1995). Chuck was also a contributing writer for Modern Drummer magazine (1981-1985)--best known for his interviews with Shelly Manne, Billy Higgins, and George Marsh. A highly adaptable musician, he has performed in a variety of musical settings, from Blues to Rock to Jazz: (Blues) Charlie Musselwhite, Luther Tucker, Freddie Roulette, Mike Henderson, Lisa Kindred, and Nick Gravenites; (Rock) Barry Melton, John Cippolina, Peter Albin, Mike Wilhelm, John Kahn, Billy Roberts, and Greg Douglas; (Jazz) Roswell Rudd, Norma Teagarden, John Rae, Don Prell, Smith Dobson, Mel Graves, Mike Formanek, Chuck Travis, Don Alberts, Al Obidinski, George Maribus, Jon Erikson, Vince Wallace, Steve Weber, Max Perkoff, Paul Breslin, and Sweetie Mitchell. Chuck has also performed in Japan with pianists Sadayasu Fujii, Tad Sakai, Vibist Hiroshi Matsumoto, and guitarists Takeshi Yamaguchi and Satoshi Inoue. Major influences: Shelly Manne, Papa Jo Jones, Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, and Thelonious Monk.
The following is a complete list of drummers who have also had a major impact on my drumming. Everyone of these drummers is a Jazz Master. I have spent many hours learning and listening to each of these marvelous individuals create magic and beauty from behind their drumsets. I am forever in their debt: Benny Barth, Dick Berk, Art Blakey, Roy Brooks, Frank Butler, Big Sid Catlett, Jimmy Cobb, Alan Dawson, Warren Baby Dodds, Frankie Dunlop, Vernell Fournier, Louis Hayes, Billy Higgins, Osie Johnson, Philly Joe Jones, Connie Kay, Gene Krupa, Vince Lateano, Mel Lewis, Lawrence Marable, George Marsh, Scott Morris, Buddy Rich, Ben Riley, Mickey Roker, Grady Tate, Ed Thigpen, Shadow Wilson, and Specs Wright.
From 1969 to 1985, I played Blues, Rock, and R&B. During those years, the following individuals were very influential: Tim Davis (Steve Miller), Jim Gordon (Derek and the Dominoes), Spencer Dryden (Jefferson Airplane), Richie Hayward (Little Feat), Levon Helm (The Band), Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead), Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix), Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), Bernard Purdie (Recording Legend), Ringo Starr (The Beatles), Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson (The Allman Brothers), and Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones).
Dr. Chuck Berg, University of Kansas, Down Beat, Jazz Times, Coda, and the Oxford Companion to Jazz
What is it that makes this music relevant and different? For one, the use of the berimbau on Friday the 13th. The single-string instrument resonates in the Delta blues, Bernstein tapping the feel and then getting the percussive shakers to add to the motif. His playing is inspired, entering a different dimension, and for certain would make Monk salivate.
Jerry D' Souza, All About Jazz