Alan Epstein has been playing music since his college days in the early 1970's when his father bought him his first mandolin. Over the past 50 years, he has studied with some of the top mandolin players in the world, and has played in bluegrass bands in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan and Upstate New York. Alan was the founder of the modern day Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra (2002), was a contributing writer to Mandolin Magazine (2004-2005) and in 2004 was a recipient of the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Apprenticeship in Traditional Arts grant, which allowed him to study mandolin with the great Russian/Gypsy mandolinist Charley Rappaport.
As a teacher, Alan has taught mandolin workshops at Calliope in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan, at Augusta Heritage "Bluegrass Week" in Elkins, West Virginia, at the 2015 CMSA Convention in Austin,Texas and at the Fiddleheads Acoustic Music Camp in New Hampshire. Since 2012 he has been a Wernick Method Bluegrass Jam Instructor teaching bluegrass jamming to folks in Upstate New York and at music camps across the country.
In June of 2021, after 25 years of being an active mandolin teacher, Alan took a 1 year break to go to Culinary School but is now back teaching and playing music again.
As as a performer Alan has played on stage in duet format with the great mandolinist Carlo Aonzo, was a special guest member of Don Julin's Neptune Quartet, appeared with Charley Rappaport & the Great American Gypsies at the 2004 CMSA Convention in Philadelphia, as well as playing in bluegrass bands across the country. Alan can currently be seen and heard playing Strolling Mandolin gigs and also in various band, duet and trio configurations in upstate New York and throughout New England.