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Steven Bernstein: The Mix-Up

Steven Bernstein

No one really knows who I am, but, man, I’m everywhere,” says trumpeter Steven Bernstein.

The brass man, often seen blowing a slide trumpet in bands like Sex Mob or the Millennial Territory Orchestra, isn’t bragging, nor is he bemoaning a public that doesn’t recognize him. Bernstein actually sounds surprised, due in part to a recent experience at a shopping mall. As he walked through a store with his teenage daughter, the piped-in music caught his ear. It turned out to be the title track to Rufus Wainwright’s Release the Stars album. “I just stopped and said, ‘This is an arrangement I wrote for Rufus Wainwright, and it’s being piped into Bed Bath and Beyond,'” he says with amusement. “And [my daughter] says, ‘OK, Dad, come on.'”

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