George Burton

  • George Burton
  • Instruments: Piano

  • Biography:

    Philadelphia native George Burton has a sound all his own. George’s inventive, "straight-but-not-straight" style of playing is neither completely “in” nor “out” with today's jazz world; his creative voicings, haunting melodies and rhythmic energy place him somewhere in between, where he stands out as one of the most captivating pianists in his age group.

    George has the unique ability to adapt his playing to meet the needs of those sharing the stage while maintaining his own signature sound, thereby respecting the tradition of the genre while grounding himself firmly as a creative presence. As a pianist who is sensitive to the music and to the musicians he is supporting, George has an understanding that has developed from his own unique background as a string player; he can be a strong and supportive sideman who is able to come out of the background at any point to make his mark on the group’s overall sound.

    Taking advantage of the rich culture in his hometown, George sought out and made himself a student of the vibrant Philadelphia jazz scene, and became something of a protégé to jazz organist and fellow Philadelphian Sid Simmons. George graduated in 2001 from Temple University, where his abilities as a jazz pianist had flourished under the direction of piano instructor Tom Lawton and jazz bandleader Terell Stafford. In 2002 George was awarded 1st place at the prestigious Peter Nero Piano Competition, for which he performed as a guest soloist with the Philly Pops. In 2003, George joined Gerald Veasley and Diane Monroe as one of the featured orchestral artists in Leslie Burrs’ critically-acclaimed opera “Vanqui”; that same year, he was also brought on as the pianist for Odean Pope’s world-famous Saxophone Choir. George continues to be featured with both of these acts today.

    In recent years, George has pursued a career in teaching, composing, and performing as a leader with his own band, all the while maintaining strong talents as a sought-after sideman. He has performed all over the world and can be found on recordings with such renowned artists as Wallace Roney, Jack Walrath, Donald Bailey, Odean Pope, Sean Jones, Tia Fuller, Patti LaBelle, Michael Brecker, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Christian McBride, Me'Shell NdegéOcello, Charles Tolliver, Jimmy Cobb, Cecil Bridgewater, Stacy Dillard, Renee Neufville, Joe Lovano, James Carter and Tim Warfield.

    George Burton can be seen performing most frequently in the Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City areas. He currently resides in New York City.