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Gary Burton

Gary Burton
Background information
Born (1943-01-23) January 23, 1943
Anderson, Indiana, United States
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, hard bop
Occupation(s) Vibraphonist, composer, educator
Instruments Vibraphone, marimba
Years active Since 1960
Labels ECM, Concord, Mack Avenue
Associated acts Thomas Clausen, Hank Garland, Roy Haynes, John Scofield, Keith Jarrett, Carla Bley, Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Bob Berg
Website .com.garyburtonwww
Notable instruments
Musser M-48 Vibraphone

Gary Burton (born January 23, 1943, Anderson, Indiana) is an American jazz vibraphonist, composer and jazz educator. Burton developed a pianistic style of four-mallet technique as an alternative to the prevailing two-mallet technique. This approach caused him to be heralded as an innovator and his sound and technique are widely imitated.[1] He is also known for pioneering fusion jazz and popularizing the duet format in jazz, as well as being a major figure in music education due to his 30 years at the Berklee College of Music.


  • Biography 1
  • Personal life 2
  • Discography 3
    • As leader 3.1
    • Collaborations 3.2
    • As sideman 3.3
  • Awards 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Beginning music at six years old, Burton for the most part taught himself to play marimba and vibraphone.[2] He also began studying piano at age sixteen as he finished high school in Princeton, Indiana (56–60). Burton has cited jazz pianist Bill Evans as a main inspiration for his approach toward the vibraphone.

Burton attended Berklee College of Music in Boston[2] in 1960–61. He studied with Herb Pomeroy and soon befriended the composer and arranger Michael Gibbs. After establishing his career during the 1960s, he returned to join the staff of Berklee from 1971–2004, serving first as Professor, then Dean and finally as Executive Vice President during his last decade at the college.

Early in his career, at the behest of noted Nashville saxophonist Boots Randolph,[2] Burton moved to Nashville and recorded with several notable Nashville musicians including guitarist Hank Garland, pianist Floyd Cramer and guitarist Chet Atkins.

After touring both the

  • Gary Burton official site
  • Gary Burton's discography from Music City
  • Gary Burton on ECM Records
  • BBC's profile on Gary Burton
  • interview on Jazzwax (2010)
  • "Gary Burton: Jazz Improvisation" online course
  • Audio Interview with Joe Zupan

External links

  1. ^ Corley, Cheryl (2004). Gary Burton Steps Down, Out Jazz Vibraphonist Moves On After Three Decades at Berklee
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^ Gavin, James (2001). Homophobia in Jazz, Retrieved April 17, 2012


See also

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1972 Alone at Last Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist Won
1979 Duet (with Chick Corea) Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group Won
1982 In Concert, Zürich, October 28, 1979 (with Chick Corea) Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group Won
1998 "Rhumbata", Native Sense (with Chick Corea) Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo Won
2000 Like Minds (with Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Roy Haynes and Dave Holland) Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group Won
2009 The New Crystal Silence (with Chick Corea) Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance Won
2012 Hot House (with Chick Corea) Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo Won
and he has won 7: Grammy AwardsOver the years, Gary Burton has been nominated for 15


  • Four Duke (Absolute Spain, 1995)

With Jay Leonhart

With Jon Weber

With Thomas Clausen

With Eberhard Weber

With Steve Swallow

  • Out of the Woods (1963)

With George Shearing

With Arif Mardin

With Herbie Mann and Tamiko Jones

With Hubert Laws

With Keith Jarrett

With k.d. lang

  • Getz au GoGo (Verve, 1964)
  • Getz/Gilberto No. 2 (Verve, 1964)
  • Nobody Else But Me (Verve, 1964)
  • The Canadian Concert of Stan Getz (Can-Am, 1965)

With Stan Getz

  • Jazz Winds from a New Direction (1960)

With Hank Garland

  • Last Date (1960)

With Floyd Cramer

  • The Charity of Night (1996)

With Bruce Cockburn

With Bob Brookmeyer

With Chet Atkins

As sideman

  • Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival - 2013 (Mack Avenue, 2014)


As leader


By the 1980s, Burton was in a gay relationship and he came out publicly in a 1994 radio interview with Terry Gross, making him one of rather few openly gay jazz musicians of prominence.[5] In 2013, he married his longtime partner, Jonathan Chong.

Following an early marriage in his 20's, Burton married for a second time 1975-84 to Catherine Goldwyn, granddaughter of film producer Samuel Goldwyn (1879–1974). They have two children, Stephanie and Sam, and two grandchildren.

Personal life

In 2011, Burton released his first project for Mack Avenue Records, entitled Common Ground featuring the New Gary Burton Quartet (with Julian Lage, Scott Colley, and Antonio Sanchez). The group's second release, Guided Tour, was released in August, 2013. Burton's autobiography, Learning To Listen, was published by Berklee Press in August 2013. Burton's available recordings, as of 2013, are mainly those from Atlantic Records, ECM Records, GRP Records, Concord Jazz, and Mack Avenue Records.

From 2004 to 2008 Burton hosted a weekly jazz radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio. From September 2006 to April 2008, Burton toured worldwide with Chick Corea celebrating 35 years of working together. More recently Burton toured and recorded in 2009 with Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow, and Antonio Sanchez (The Gary Burton Quartet Revisited), reprising music from Burton's 1970s group.

Burton has played with a wide variety of jazz musicians, including Carla Bley, Hank Garland, Gato Barbieri, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Steve Lacy, Pat Metheny, Makoto Ozone, Tiger Okoshi, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Tommy Smith, Eberhard Weber, Ralph Towner, Peter Erskine, Stephane Grappelli and Ástor Piazzolla.

Burton was named Down Beat magazine's 'Jazzman of the Year' in 1968 (the youngest ever to receive the title) and won his first Grammy award in 1972. The following year Burton began a now 40-year-long collaboration with pianist Chick Corea,[4] recognized for popularizing the format of jazz duet performance. Their eight recordings together won the pair Grammy awards in years 1979, 1981, 1997, 1999, 2009, and most recently in 2013, for Hot House. Burton has a total of 21 Grammy nominations and seven Grammy wins.

, who plays guitar in Burton's group Next Generation. Julian Lage, and most recently Kurt Rosenwinkel, Wolfgang Muthspiel, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Mick Goodrick, David Pritchard, Jerry Hahn, both from 1966) had already shown his inclination toward such experimentation with different genres of popular music. After Coryell left the quartet in the late 1960s, Burton hired a number of well-regarded guitarists: Time Machine and Tennessee Firebird elements. However, some of Burton's previous albums (notably rock and roll and country combined jazz, Duster, craze of the 1970s, the group's first record, [3]jazz-rock fusion. Predating the Steve Swallow, and bassist Roy Haynes, drummer Larry Coryell. In 1967 he formed the Gary Burton Quartet along with guitarist Astrud Gilberto" with Girl From Ipanema playing "Get Yourself a College Girl from 1964 to 1966. It was during this time with the Stan Getz Quartet that Burton appeared with the band in a feature film, Stan Getz in 1963, Burton went on to play with saxophonist [3]

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