Maurice Bernstein

Instructor

Maurice Bernstein

Maurice was born and raised in Manchester, UK and immersed himself in music and club culture at an early age. After graduating high school and spending a year traveling in the United States, Europe and Middle East, he moved to London to study Islamic Law at SOAS (University of London). In 1987, Maurice moved to New York and settled in Alphabet City spending his time discovering dance clubs like Paradise Garage and The Loft & the jazz scene. After a brief stint in Brazil, Maurice returned to NY to try to start a career in the music industry. Without any solid contacts at record labels or talent agencies, Maurice was unable to secure a job and instead worked in restaurants to survive. Not giving up on his dream, he started to throw underground dance parties, culminating in the birth of The Groove Academy. GA was a concert series that found original funk and soul artists that were being heavily sampled by hip hop artists. He successfully helped relaunch the careers of George Clinton, Gil Scott Heron & Ohio Players to name a few. 

In 1990, Maurice co-founded Giant Step which started in NY as an underground dance party that merged jazz and hip hop including live interactions between musicians and DJs. The club helped launch the careers of Digable Planets, The Roots, Jamiroquai and Massive Attack in America. Giant Step grew into a management company and then a successful record label working with artists like Masters at Work, Gilles Peterson, Zero 7 and Shuggie Otis. With the label’s success, the Major Labels began hiring Giant Step to market their new artists and were instrumental in breaking artists such as Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, and Daft Punk.

As the music business began to shift with the introduction of streaming, Giant Step developed into an award winning integrated marketing agency creating and executing campaigns for brands like Levi’s, ABSOLUT, Intel, Bacardi, Old Navy, Coca Cola, and Western Union. From 2015-16, Maurice and Giant Step were the in-house agency at Samsung tasked with developing and executing Samsung 837, their flagship experiential center in NYC. Giant Step has offices in Brooklyn and Los Angeles

Maurice still loves going to concerts and discovering new artists as well as his passion for soul and jazz music. He currently lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and two teenage boys.