Lecturer of Jazz Studies, Trombone
James Burton has preformed in groups around the world such as the Black Art Jazz Collective, Cristian McBride Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band, and Ron Carter’s Great Big Band.
Trombonist, composer, arranger James Burton III has lent his sound to multiple Grammy Award-winning albums and Tony Award-winning Broadway productions. Born in Queens, now a resident of Harlem, Burton III is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the Jackie McLean Institute at the Hartt School of Music. While earning his Master’s Degree and Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School, Burton held both the Morse and Gluck Fellowships and received the Schuman Prize, an award named for Juilliard’s founding president and given to one graduating Masters Degree candidate annually.
Burton got his professional start playing with many of the great large ensembles; the Illinois Jacquet Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, the Lincoln Center and Vanguard Jazz Orchestras etc. Additionally, the opportunity to perform/record with legends Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Ron Carter and Christian McBride inspired Burton to co-found a 10-piece ensemble called the Uptown Jazz Tentet, which celebrated the release of a second album in late 2020, to much critical acclaim.
Currently, Burton’s playing and original compositions can be heard alongside band mates Jeremy Pelt and Wayne Escoffery in a dynamic new ensemble; Black Art Jazz Collective. BAJC has released three albums since its inception, the latest two reaching the #1 position on the JazzWeek Charts for international radio play.
In the model of jazz education pioneer Jackie McLean, Burton is an avid educator and has been a full time associate professor at both the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music as well as Director of Jazz Education at New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Burton continues to pass on the legacy of the music via master classes, ensemble coachings and workshops for arts education institutions across the globe.