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ART “TURK” BURTON – Short Music Bio

52 East Grandview Drive, South Holland, IL 60473

708.331.3491, c. 708.334.0250



Governors State University, M.A., Ethnic Studies, 1977

Governors State University, B.A., Cultural Studies, 1976

Received a full scholarship for Jazz Percussion to attend Governors State University and perform in the Jazz Orchestra under the director of Dr. Warrick Carter. While at GSU, the Jazz Orchestra won numerous awards and received a three week residence in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I was made an honorary member of Camisa Verde y Branco Samba Club. Members of the GSU Jazz Orchestra included Chico Freeman, Billy Howell, Vandy Harris, Dr. Curtis Prince, Rufus Reid, Frank Gordon, and Henry Threadgill. I became a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1973.

Work Experiences

Performed with the AACM’s Great Black Music Ensemble at the Umbria International Jazz Festival in Italy in 2009.

Featured at the 2009 Chicago Jazz Festival where I performed and lectured at an event called “Percussion – Discussion.”

Performed with the AACM’s Great Black Music Ensemble at the Sons D’hiver Festival in Paris, France in 2008

Performed with Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble at the Sons D’hiver Festival in Paris, France in 2007.

Performed in the 2005 Chicago Jazz Festival with The Frontburners a tribute to Vandy Harris. Also, performed at same festival with the 40th Anniversary AACM Big Band.

History and Cultural Arts Professor, South Suburban College, South Holland, IL, Aug. 2003 – 2015 (Retired)

Director of African American Student Affairs, Columbia College Chicago, 1997 – 2003

Adjunct Professor, History of Jazz, Governors State University, 1980

Lecturer, Northwestern University, African Musical Influences in the Caribbean, 1985

Percussion Instructor, Chicago Conservatory of Music, 1970s

Musical Instrument

Bongo Drums and Conga Drums and miscellaneous percussion – self taught.


Mongo Santamaria, Carlos ‘Patato’ Valdes, Carlos Vidal, Armando Peraza, Tata Guines, Candido Camero, Ray Barretto, Big Black, Henry Gibson, Jose Mangual Sr., Percy James, Babatunde Olatunji, Willie Bobo, Sabu Martinez, Montego Joe, Riche ‘Pablo’ Landrum, Sunni Morgan, Stacey Edwards, Yeyito Iglesias, John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner.


Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) 1973 -

Member, Chicago Jazz Institute

Leader, Congo Square Artistic Ensemble.

Member of the AACM Great Black Music Ensemble, AACM Experimental Band, Fenix Percussion Ensemble, Renee Baker and the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, Tom Tom Washington and The South Side Big Band.

Former Affiliations

Member of Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble, Chicago guitarist Byron Gregory’s studio band, Kelan Phil Cohran Workshop Ensemble, Muhal Richard Abrams Big Band, (Muhal was inducted as a NEA Jazz Master) Joseph Jarman Big Band, AACM Big Band, Vandy Harris and the Front Burners, The Black Artist Group of Chicago, Shanta Nurullah Ensemble and The Umojian Ensemble and leader of Conjunto Bembe Percussion Ensemble. Leader of a rhythm and blues band named the Soul Naturals, which in 1969 won the Illinois State Battle of the Bands and finished second in the National Battle of the Bands Final in Raleigh, NC that year.


Art Turk Burton “Spirits: Then & Now” “Ancestral Spirits” Great Black Music Ensemble “Live in Umbria” Nicole Mitchell “Hope, Future, Destiny” Ari Brown “Venus” Tanya Reed “Live” Vandy Harris “Pure Fire” Saalik Zayid’s Five After Seven Project “Live at the Velvet Lounge.” AACM Great Black Music Ensemble “Live @ The Currency Exchange Café, Volume 1.” Participated in various rhythm and blues group recordings at Chess Studios, Chicago, in the early 1970s.

Performed with:

Dizzy Gillespie, Elvin, Jones, Kenny Barron, Randy Weston, Ari Brown, Sonny Stitt, Jimmy Forrest. Lou Donaldson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Lester Bowie, Ira Sullivan, Ken McIntyre, Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, Luba Raashiek, Phil Cohran, Kalaparusha, Kenny Barron, Mickey Roker, Freddie Waits, Wilbur Campbell, Kahil El Zabar, Ernest Dawkins, Ed Wilkerson, Joseph Jarman, Don Moye, Roscoe Mitchell, Wilbur Campbell, Jodie Christian, Rufus Reid, Chico Freeman, George Freeman, Henry Threadgill, Malachi Favors, Harrison Bankhead, Hilario Duran, Jerry Gonzalez, Sammy Torres, Ken Chaney, Michael Rhamlee Davis, Kwame Steve Cobb, Tom Tom Washington and others.