Building on the extraordinary legacy of a world-renowned jazz artist and educator
Since his inimitable career kicked off in 1956, Kenny Burrell has become one of the most respected jazz artists in the world. A jazz guitarist, prolific composer and esteemed producer, Burrell recorded 97 albums under his own name and collaborated on hundreds more with jazz legends including Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Billy Holliday, Charlie Parker and Jimmy Smith, to name a few. Burrell has played in a multitude of musical contexts – solo, small combo, large ensemble and symphony orchestra – and has been the recipient of a long list of notable awards including the National Endowment for the Arts’ 2005 Jazz Master, an award given annually to honor a handful of living figures for their exceptional contributions to the field of jazz.
As Distinguished Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Burrell enthusiastically shares his depth of knowledge, experience and passion for jazz, so much so that in 2004, Down Beat magazine named him Jazz Educator of the Year. A recognized authority on the music of Duke Ellington, Burrell developed “Ellingtonia” at UCLA in 1978. It was the first college course on Ellington ever taught in the United States. He was appointed director of the Jazz Studies Program in 1996 and has since recruited an array of jazz luminaries as faculty members including George Bohanon, Billy Childs, Billy Higgins, Harold Land, Bobby Rodriguez, Anthony Wilson and Barbara Morrison. Burrell also established the Jazz Heritage Foundation and Friends of Jazz at UCLA.
Help honor Burrell’s distinctive contributions to the worlds of jazz and jazz education by supporting the campaign to endow a chair in his honor. Recognizing such a distinguished faculty member, legendary performer and jazz enthusiast will ensure that Burrell’s legacy lives on through the work of a notable faculty member.
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