Jackson, Mississippi native Michael Burton, currently touring with Patti LaBelle and Jill Scott, joins the Jazz Urbane record label roster of distinctive young artists who bring contemporary Jazz, R&B and multi-styled musical elegance. Michael Burton’s “Say What?” follows a long line of artists such as Grover Washington Jr., Najee, and more recently Soul Live, Robert Glasper, and Esperanza Spalding, who creatively redefined the false borders of Jazz, R&B and progressive urban contemporary radio music.
Noted for his “…ability to move through musical genres flawlessly, with dynamic ambience…” this record produced by Burton is the product of enormous talent, artistry and market savvy. Michael completed both bachelors and masters degrees in Jazz Studies under the renowned musician and professor, David Baker at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.
Trained in music from an early age, his mother is an original member of the legendary Mississippi Mass Choir, and his father a tenor saxophonist himself. Burton’s distinctive soulful saxophone performances, riveting grooves and vocal productions are the result of this influence and the Jackson, Mississippi culture.
In addition to Patti LaBelle and Jill Scott, Michael has toured with Mary J. Blige and Anita Baker as well as with New Edition, and PJ Morton. He’s also performed with Aretha Franklin, Young Jeezy and Eric Roberson. He has appeared on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show, Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel. The Atlanta metro area resident has also played keys and sax for numerous Tyler Perry Stage and film productions. He can also be seen playing his saxophone in the HBO movie Bessie, Bravo Reality TV Shows The New Atlanta and I Dream of NeNe The Wedding, as well as an episode of the IFC series Brockmire and STAR on FOX.
Burton has recorded with a long list of jazz, soul, pop, rhythm and blues, gospel, and hip/hop artists including Lecrae (Gold Record for Anomaly), Will Downing, Deborah Cox, Polow Da Don, Ann Nesby, Jennifer Holliday, Avery Sunshine, Paloma Faith, Jeff Bradshaw, Candi Staton, Arrested Development, Sho Baraka, Alyson Williams, Marcus Johnson, The Mississippi Mass Choir, and many others. His soulful saxophone can also be heard on 2 Grammy Nominated projects, ”Love Has Finally Come At Last,” by Calvin Richardson as well as PJ Morton’s Gumbo album. Mike was also a featured soloist on Hidden Beach Recordings “Unwrapped Volume 5.”
Other television credits include the house band for the 2013 – 2018 Trumpet Awards (which aired on TVone and Bounce TV), as well as seasons 6, 7, and 8 of BET’s hit show Sunday Best. He was also in the house band for the 2017 BET Her Fights, 2017 & 2018 Soul Train Awards (BET), 2018 BET Awards, 2018 VH1 Dear Mama, 2011 Dove Awards, the 2015 UNCF honors (BET), and the 2015 McDonalds 365 Black Awards (BET). Michael frequently appeared on BET’s The Mo’nique show as a member of the house band (Big Jim’s Penthouse Playas).
Michael has also served as an Artist in Residence in the US Virgin Islands, providing music education and mentorship to middle school, high school, and college students throughout St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John.
Burton has written and/or produced songs for Alex Bugnon, Terrell Carter, Paula Champion, Christian Keyes, Chandra Currelley, and others. Mike has released 4 independent projects, “Sojourn,” “Soulful,” “The Producer,” and “Say What?” In 2012, Mike, along a few of his musician friends, assembled the Good Times Brass Band, a horn driven band with a funky blend of New Orleans style second line and DC GoGo. They have one EP to their credit. Mike plays Java Saxophones, Jody Jazz Mouthpieces, and he uses Reunion Blues Gig Bags, Empire In Ear Monitors, and Dante Saxophone Neckstraps. He is a proud family man. He and his wife of 12 years, Razia, have two daughters, Layla Kai and Caden Rae.