In a solo performance from 6-time Grammy Award-winning vibraphonist, Gary Burton delivers a masterful rendition of "O Grande Amour" on air and for the camera at KPLU/Jazz24 radio in Tacoma, WA.
Gary Burton was born January 23, 1943, in Anderson, Indiana. Beginning music at six years old, Burton for the most part taught himself to play marimba and vibraphone. 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.
A true original on the vibraphone, Burton developed a pianistic style of four-mallet technique as an alternative to the prevailing two-mallet technique. This approach caused Burton to be heralded as an innovator and his sound and technique are widely imitated. He is also known for pioneering fusion jazz and popularizing the duet format in jazz, as well as being a major figure in jazz education due to his 30 years at the Berklee College of Music.
Early in his career, at the behest of noted Nashville saxophonist Boots Randolph, 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 U.S. and Japan with pianist George Shearing in 1963, Burton went on to play with saxophonist Stan Getz from 1964 to 1966. It was during this time with the Stan Getz Quartet that Burton appeared with the band in a feature film, "Get Yourself a College Girl", playing "Girl From Ipanema" with Astrud Gilberto. In 1967 he formed the Gary Burton Quartet along with guitarist Larry Coryell, drummer Roy Haynes, and bassist Steve Swallow.
In 1968 Burton was named Down Beat magazine's 'Jazzman of the Year' (the youngest ever to receive the title) and won his first Grammy award in 1972, Burton began a now 38-year-long collaboration with pianist Chick Corea, recognized for popularizing the format of jazz duet performance. Their half dozen recordings won the pair Grammy awards in years 1979, 1981, 1997, 1999, and most recently in 2009, for The New Crystal Silence.
Gary 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, Adam Nussbaum, Tiger Okoshi, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Tommy Smith, Eberhard Weber, Ralph Towner, Peter Erskine, Stephane Grappelli and tango legend Ástor Piazzolla.
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. Most recently Burton has toured and recorded with Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow, and Antonio Sanchez (The Gary Burton Quartet Revisited), reprising music from the Burton's 1970's group.