Christopher L. Burnett (BMI)
Christopher Burnett is a critically acclaimed alto saxophonist, educator, arts industry business leader, and composer who began his professional career with military jazz bands “going pro” directly upon graduating high school at 18 years old. Over the course of his career, Mr. Burnett has performed professionally around the world, recorded noteworthy albums as a leader, taught at the college-level and co-founded a significant independent recording label, Artists Recording Collective.
Born in Olathe, Kansas, the middle son of Clifford LeRoy Burnett and Violet Lorraine Jackson Burnett, his family traveled frequently during his youth due to his father being a member of the active US Air Force. He was ultimately raised in his maternal hometown of Paola, Kansas where the family had moved once his father’s military career concluded in 1963.
His mother was a significant influence on his choosing music as a professional career. And, it was his eldest brother, Richie Pratt, who mentored and encouraged him in the music business as a professional.
Continued . . .
Subsequently, Mr. Burnett began his professional tenure by completing a full 22-year career performing and touring with notable military bands prior to embarking upon his current activities within the music scene at large.
Mr. Burnett has released three albums as a leader. His latest, ‘Firebird’, is being released first as singles on the ARC label. Additional credits include performances, and a new recording with the Dino Massa Kansas City Quintet titled, “Echoes of Europe.” He is an in-demand woodwind instructor and jazz clinician, serving as festival adjudicator and conductor for honors ensembles on many occasions.
Mr. Burnett was the keynote speaker for the 2016 Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Fort Leavenworth and the 2017 Black History Month celebration of the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center’s CPAC. The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Drury University invited Mr. Burnett to be its first speaker in their ‘Self-Employment in the Arts’ series for 2016.
Mr. Burnett received Kansas Press Association awards in 2016 and 2017 for several articles while working as the Staff Writer and Reporter for the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper. A highlight of that tenure was his interview article with the documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (Jazz) regarding “The Vietnam War.” Mr. Burnett continues his work as a jazz journalist serving as a writer and editor of Jazz Artistry Now magazine.
He held adjunct professor of music positions with University of Missouri Science and Technology (10 years) and at Metropolitan Community Colleges (5 years). Mr. Burnett directed the marketing and communications department, concurrent with other key positions while working 5 years at the American Jazz Museum. He is the 1995 5-Star Award of Merit Winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs as a Composer. The Missouri Arts Council appointed Mr. Burnett to serve on the Advisory Panel for Multidiscipline for one term – ending June 30, 2016. Mr. Burnett has most recently served as a grant review panelist for the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission.
Mr. Burnett worked with Leon A. Brady‘s famous jazz education program for five years (until Mr. Brady retired), presenting a jazz improvisation clinic at the Kansas Bandmasters Association convention, and accompanying the program as the faculty representative during its special invitation trip to the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, April 9-11, 2010. He also presented a clinic at the 2018 Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshop.
Mr. Burnett is the Founder and Artistic Director of KC Area Youth Jazz. KCAYJ is an innovative and unique approach to the community music education program model. KCAYJ students are selected by audition and learn about both – the music and the business of jazz.
In addition to performing, composing and teaching privately, Mr. Burnett is currently a teaching assistant (serving as Woodwind Artist in Residence and Jazz Clinician) for Leavenworth Unified School District 453 working with both, Dr. Jared Prost in the high school instrumental music department and Jaye George in the middle school instrumental music department.
ChrisBurnettQuartet.com is the official website of his ensembles, artistic projects and concert activities. Mr. Burnett is an official Conn-Selmer Artist and Clinician. He officially endorses and plays Selmer (Paris) Saxophones exclusively.
Selected Review Quotes
- “It’s an exceptionally graceful album that imbues mainstream jazz with the elegant sheen of classical chamber music.”
~ Bill Brownlee (The Kansas City Star, Ink Magazine), KCUR
– – –
- “…rich water colors of sound. Like listening to Monet.”
~ George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly