An Indiana native, Gary Burton was honored as a Stamps Distinguished Visitor during the 2009-2010 season at the University of Miami Frost School of Music for his impressive career in music. He made his recording debut at age 17 in Nashville, Tennessee with guitarist Hank Garland and Chet Atkins. Two years later, he began playing with George Shearing and subsequently, with Stan Getz. Burton’s first quartet, a progenitor of the jazz-fusion phenomenon, enjoyed popularity with both jazz and rock audiences, receiving DownBeat magazine’s 1968 “Jazzman of the Year” award. After receiving his first Grammy Award for a 1971 live solo concert recording he turned to the rarely heard duo format and launched a 36-year collaboration with pianist Chick Corea that has garnered an additional five Grammys.
In 1990, Burton paired up with his former protégé, Pat Metheny, for the GRP Recording Reunion, landing him the top spot on Billboard magazine’s jazz chart. He has been recording since 1997 for Concord Records, releasing such diverse projects as a tribute to legendary vibraphonist, a retrospective of the music of tango great Astor Piazzolla, a jazz interpretation of classical compositions, and Grammy Award-winning Like Minds, with Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Roy Haynes and Dave Holland.