Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Burton, Abraham (Jr.)

Burton, Abraham (Jr.), saxophonist; b. New York City, 17 March 1971. He's of Belizean descent.  His father Abraham Burton, Sr. is a Caribbean Sea diver/seaman bodybuilder, provider, superintendent/mechanic/electrician, a very disciplined and caring man who was born on March 8, 1942.  Louise Adolphus (b. January 17, 1939) is a supreme mother, teacher, and medical professional with a rare gift of healing by way of the heart.

The Burtons ventured to the United States in the late sixties leaving their homeland in search of better opportunities for their children.  Carla, the first of four, was born September 23, 1965. A clarinetist from Music & Art and a Dartmouth graduate, she is a modern language specialist & educator who is currently involved in international affairs.  Stuart, who also studied percussion at Music & Art, was born November 6, 1967. He is now a personal bodyguard, physical trainer and nutritionist for celebrities. Abraham, Jr. arrived on March 17, 1971. Denise, the SUNY Purchase grad and opera trainee at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, was the final addition to the family, born May 28, 1976.  

Abraham's interest in music began at the High School of Music & Art. Under the tutelage of Justin DiCioccio, a combo featuring Abraham (as well as drummer & longtime friend Eric McPherson) took first place in the Annual Downbeat Combo Competition.  In the same year, they were both members of another winning combo at the McDonalds School Competition, where Abraham went on to receive the Outstanding Artist Award for Solo Instrument. Upon graduating from Music & Art, he studied under the guidance of the jazz great, Jackie McLean at the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Music, graduating with honors.

Abraham's professional career as a musician was initiated with the legendary drummer, Arthur Taylor.  During his five years with Taylor's Wailers, he recorded Mr. A.T. and Live at the Village Vanguard, touring throughout Europe and performing at notable New York clubs and venues such as:  The Village Vanguard, Sweet Basil, Visiones, The Blue Note, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Knitting Factory, Birdland, The Jazz Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, and The African Art Museum.

Since his beginnings, Abraham has developed a reputation as a veritable professional performing and/or recording with musicians such as James Carter, Steve Davis, Oren Evans, Louis Hayes, Lenora Helm, John Hicks, Yosuke Inoue, Gene Jackson, Milt Jackson, Jackie McLean, Nasheeet Waits, Roy Haynes, Jackie Terrason, Roy Hargrove, Marc Cary, Santi Debriano, James Hurt, Kenny Barron, Jimmy Smith, Mark Whitfield, Teramasa Hino, The Mingus Big Band, The David Murray Big Band, Wynton Marsalis, David Sanchez, and Horace Tapscott, to name a few.

He ventured on to form a band in '94 entitled The Abraham Burton Quartet which put out three recordings for Enja Records. The group toured and performed in Austria, England, France, Italy, Israel, Germany, Spain, Japan, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, The Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and the Virgin Islands.

Currently involved in a number of projects which branch from the formation of a music recording studio to workshops for inner city youth programs aimed at encouraging young aspiring musicians.

His son is Aminah Rivera-Burton (born in the late 1990s).

Recordings:
Closest to the Sun  (1994); The Magician; Cause & Effect (1998)

As sideperson:
Jimmy Smith: Damn! (1995); Horace Tapscott: Aiee! The Phantom (1995); Jackie's Blues Bag: Tribute to J. (1997); Yosuke Inoue Sextet: Speak Up! (1997); Louis Hayes Quintet: Quintessential Lou (1999); Lenora Zenzalai Helm: Spirit Child (1999); Louis Hayes Quintet: The Candy Man (1999); James Hurt & Friends: Dark Grooves - Mystical Rhythms (1999); Santi Debriano: Artistic License (2001); Yosuke Inoue: Peace (2001)

Contact information:
geeslaw@aol.com

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