Multi-Grammy Award-winning vibraphonist Gary Burton taught himself to play the vibraphone, making his recording debut in Nashville at the age of seventeen. Over the course of his career, Burton has worked with Chet Atkins, Stan Getz, Pat Metheny, and for almost 40 years with Chick Corea (with whom he appeared at the inaugural Gilmore Festival in 1991). Burton began his career on the faculty at Berklee College of Music (Boston) in 1970, and was appointed vice president of Berklee in 1996, retiring in 2003. While at Berklee, he was the first teacher for a teenager named Kirill Gerstein, now our 2010 Gilmore Artist. Burton has continued performing and touring throughout his years at Berklee and continues to compose and push the envelope for musicians.
Burton developed a pianistic style of four-mallet technique as an option to the traditional two mallets. This innovative method has enabled him to have a career spanning five decades, playing and recording solo albums, as part of various groups, and as leader of his own quartet. He has won numerous awards, including the youngest ever named DownBeat’s “Jazzman of the Year.”
Burton recently signed with Mack Avenue Records and released his debut recording on that label last June, Common Ground, with the New Gary Burton Quartet.