Connor's first instrument, the guitar has captivated him since the age of 7 when his father tried to teach him piano and Connor flat out refused for two weeks and demanded a guitar. He began studying with the great Chicago guitarist/pedagogue, Dan MacIntyre during his younger years and moving on to study with Fareed Haque at Northern Illinois University.
Currently Connor plays guitar in the neo-bluegrass (genre-less) ensemble "Android Mandela" as well as his original groups.
Connor Bernhard is an in demand trumpeter in Chicago, Illinois where he plays every genre, from esoteric creative music, to simple and tight groove-based hits.
He started playing at the age of 10 and was mainly self-taught until college when he studied trumpet with Art Davis and learned the roots and rhythm of blues and swing music from reknown jazz educator, Ronald Carter at Northern Illinois University where he was afforded the experience of touring with reknown jazz musicians such as Ernie Watts, Randy Brecker, Victor Lewis, Terell Stafford, Steve Davis. Later, he would study with Victor Garcia at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts where he received his Bachelor's in Music Performance in 2017.
While finishing his degree, Connor auditioned numerous times to be selected as one of the 5 recipients of 2017 Luminarts Jazz Fellowship.
Starting in late 2017, Connor was asked to join a collective creative pursuit with multi-instrumentalist Darin Nicholson and Drummer/Producer Dana Thompson entitled: "Satchmo" which released its debut album, "The Lost Files" in March of 2019 after much trial and tribulation stemming from a massive hard drive crash and loss of many recordings. The album is now available on all platforms!
In addition to Satchmo, Connor plays in/has performed with groups such as Neil Carson's New Nostalgia (album available on all platforms 4/9/19), Zoofunkyou, ,The Infrared Quintet, The New Lionel Hampton Band Feat. Jason Marsalis, The Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Eryn Allen Kane, , Zoofunkyou, The Right Now, Cameron Phifner's Marco Polo, , and many others in addition to his own ensemble.
"My creative mission is to combine the beautiful and complicated harmonies of learned music with the more accessible sounds and feel of vernacular dance music."
Connor writes , arranges, and produces everything from his original jazz compositions (featured below), to sample-based hip-hop, to folky songs with lyrics that he creates and sings.
Be on the look out for a mixtape coming out in 2019!!
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An exerpt of the Connor Bernhard Quartet playing his original composition, "Jackalope"
A taste of the past and some peeks into the future. The real stuff will be released soon...
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