Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 7


Gay Jazz Master Gary Burton

This week gay jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton (b. 1943 in Anderson, Indiana) was inducted into the Jazz Masters fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor our nation bestows on its jazz musicians. And this year the venue was in my neighborhood – the concert hall of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in DC.

None of the musicians so honored actually made music during the event; instead, tribute performances filled the bill. In the instance of Gary Burton, Chick Corea (Burton’s frequent duet partner) was joined by vibraphonist Stefon Harris in playing “Crystal Silence,” Corea and Burton’s signature tune. Gary Burton remarked, “Chick and I have played that song for over 40 years. It’s a weird sensation to sit out there and listen from the other side.”

Burton developed the “four mallet” technique, which fleshed out harmonic possibilities that had been limited with the “two mallet” technique used until Burton came along. In 1968 he was the youngest person ever to receive the “Jazzman of the Year” award from Downbeat magazine. During the period 1972-2012 he won seven Grammy Awards.

Gary Burton came out in 1994 and married his long-time partner, Jonathan Chong, in 2013. Burton has two children by his former wife, Catherine Goldwyn (granddaughter of film producer Samuel Goldwyn).  Not to mention two grandchildren.

Seventy-three-year-old Burton is ranked among the very best vibraphonists, and his status is legendary.

Gary Burton Quartet (2011)
Open Your eyes, You Can Fly

With a side of socks:

...and underwear:
(Steve's favorite)


You gotta have art:

Corrado Cagli
Italian-American 1910-1976

No comments:

Post a Comment