Berk was born in San Francisco, California. He studied at the Berklee College of Music and played in the Boston area early in the 1960s. In 1962 he moved to New York City and played there with Ted Curson and Bill Barron in a quintet from 1962 to 1964. Following this he played with Charles Mingus, Mose Allison, Freddie Hubbard, and Walter Bishop, Jr., among others. He moved to Los Angeles late in the 1960s, where he played with Milt Jackson, George Duke, Cal Tjader, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Blue Mitchell. He founded the Jazz Adoption Agency in the early 1980s, playing into the 2000s; among this group’s alumni are Andy Martin, Mike Fahn, Nick Brignola, Jon Nagorney, Keith Saunders, Tad Weed, and John Patitucci.
He died in 2014, aged 74.