Extraordinary vibraphonist/composer/educator Gary Burton’s career has so
many facets and accomplishments that it’s hard to believe that he’s only
one man. As a musician, he not only revolutionized his instrument with
his multiple mallet, keyboard-like approach, but also helped usher in the
golden age of Jazz fusion with his groundbreaking recordings for RCA in
the late ‘60s. As a discoverer of new talent, he’s brought so many fine
musicians into the public eye, most notably the hugely popular
guitarist, Pat Metheny.
A prominent educator, Burton has been an important figure at Boston’s
Berklee College of Music since 1971. Named its Dean of Curriculum in
1985, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the College four years
later. Since 1996, he has overseen the operations of the prestigious
institution as its Executive Vice-President.
Unquestionably though, Burton’s musical accomplishments are his most
important contributions to Jazz. Since gaining his first serious
recognition with Stan Getz’ Quartet from 1964-66, Burton has recorded
dozens of albums for RCA, Concord Jazz, GRP and ECM and has toured the world
many times over in solo and group settings. His explorations of Astor
Piazzolla’s tango music, and extraordinary duets with artists like Steve
Swallow, Ralph Towner and Chick Corea are among his finest work.
A four-time Grammy Award recipient, Burton won his first for his 1971
Montreux Jazz Festival solo concert recording, "Alone at Last," and
most recently in 1998 for "Native Sense," a duet collaboration with Corea.
Named Jazzman of the Year in 1968 by 'DownBeat Magazine,' he placed first
in the Vibes category of the magazine’s Reader’s Poll for the next 19
In 2000 Gary Burton continued his dual careers as premier Jazz
vibraphonist and college vice president, performing extensively and
working closely with Berklee’s college community, planning the next five years
of growth and change at Berklee.