Abraham Burton

Tenor Sax

174 archived shows

Upcoming shows (4 ):

Previous shows (170 ):

It was once written in the New York Times by jazz columnist Peter Watrous, “If Abraham Burton were to be drawn in a caricature, there would be flames coming out of his horn…” Approaching three decades as a prominent figure on the jazz scene, world-renowned saxophonist and educator Abraham Burton’s passionate sound can still ignite a room filled with patrons. Abraham Burton has been showcased as a soloist on two Grammy award-winning albums and a featured musician on more than one hundred recordings. Throughout his career Abraham has performed and recorded with numerous contemporaries as well as legendary jazz artists including Rashid Ali, Kenny Barron, Walter Bishop Jr., James Carter, Michael Carvin, Santi Debriano, Rein de Graaff, Roy Hargrove, Louis Hayes, Roy Haynes, John Hicks,Terumasa Hino, Yosuke Inoue, Victor Lewis, Harold Mabern, Christian McBride, Jackie McLean, Mulgrew Miller, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, David Murray, Steve Nelson, Nicholas Payton, Alvin Queen, Larry Ridley, Wallace Roney, Jimmy Smith, Horace Tapscott, Arthur Taylor,Kenny Washington, David Williams and Jimmy Woode.

Born and raised in Greenwich Village, the “mecca” of jazz, Abraham’s

interest in music was sparked by the many pioneers on the New York

scene. At an early age, Abraham frequented neighborhood jazz clubs

as a “rodey” for drummer Freddie Waits. Abraham became personally

acquainted with many popular jazz artists like Richard Davis, Billy

Higgins, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Billy Harper and his first private

teacher Bill Saxton. Abraham attributes a large portion of his musical

concept and his education to the years spent with the master

musicians he met as a youngster.


Determined to further explore the jazz idiom, Abraham attended

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & the Performing Arts,

under the tutelage of head jazz instructor Justin Dicioccio. Abraham

was chosen by Dicioccio to be the alto man in an all-star quintet,

which was awarded best jazz combo by Downbeat Magazine. In

addition, Abraham received an award for outstanding soloist. In the

same year Abraham won the McDonald’s Jazz Combo Competition in

trio fashion.


By this time, Abraham had met his idol, saxophonist Jackie McLean,

with whom he began an apprenticeship and an enduring mentorship.

Over the next few years, McLean encouraged Abraham to continue his

studies at the Hartt School of Music. Abraham spent four years under

the watchful eyes of Jackie McLean studying the saxophone with an

emphasis on Jazz history. In 1993 Abraham received his Bachelors

Degree in Music and Performance, graduating with honors.

Abraham's professional career initiated with master drummer Arthur

Taylor. As a “Wailer," Abraham recorded on the albums "Mr. A.T."

and "Live at the Village Vanguard.” Abraham began touring throughout

Europe and performing at popular New York jazz clubs including The

Village Vanguard, Blue Note, Sweet Basil, Condon’s and Birdland.

Abraham also began performing with his own dynamic group, “The

Abraham Burton Quartet.” The collective has been featured at venues

and festivals worldwide including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazz a

Juan, Moors Jazz Festival, Seixal Jazz Festival and the Pori Jazz

Festival. The Band has also recorded a notable collection of albums

under Abraham’s leadership.


Additionally, Abraham has been a part of the Mingus family for two

decades, performing globally in all three ensembles The Mingus Big

Band, Mingus Dynasty and the Mingus Orchestra. Furthermore

Abraham has been active on the jazz scene collaborating with many of

today’s icons such as Lucian Ban, David Bryant, Marc Cary, Steve

Davis, Dezron Douglas, Duane Eubanks, Josh Evans, Joe Farnsworth,

John Hebert, Freddie Hendrix, James Hurt, Eric McPherson, Nat

Reeves, and Nasheet Waits.

In recent years, Abraham’s interest has broadened to teaching and

sharing his musical knowledge and experience with future generations.

In 2013 Abraham was awarded the prestigious Ralph Bunche

Fellowship at Rutgers University where he received his Masters Degree

in Music. Abraham also has joined the faculty at both the Jackie

McLean institute of Jazz (University of Hartford) and Rutgers University

where his classes are in high demand.

Musically, Abraham continues to explore unchartered territories while

devoting time to teach and inspire future generations, passing forward

the infinite torch of jazz.