It may sound cliche, but Michael Burton was made for making music. Jackson, Mississippi native Michael Burton’s musical gift was trained from an early age and honed through years of commitment. His mother was a singer with the Mississippi Mass Choir and his father a tenor saxophonist. In a home filled with music, he developed an affinity for soul and jazz. As a student in Jackson Public Schools, Burton took part in music programs offered at JPS’s Academic and Performing Arts Complex (known as Power APAC) and after graduating from Murrah High School in 1996 he embarked on a journey to build on this musical legacy.
Since completing both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Jazz Studies – under the tutelage of David Baker at Indiana University – Burton’s legacy and musical career has flourished. He has toured with Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Patti LaBelle, and Anita Baker as well as with New Edition, Johnta Austin, soul artist PJ Morton, and blues singer Willie Clayton. Burton has played keys and sax for the Tyler Perry stage productions Madea Goes To Jail, What’s Done In The Dark, Why Did I Get Married, Hell Hath No Fury, The Haves and The Have Nots, Laugh To Keep From Crying, Madea’s Big Happy Family, and A Madea Christmas. Burton has appeared in the Perry films Madea’s Big Happy Family, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, The Family That Preys, and Madea’s Family Reunion.
Burton has recorded with a long list of jazz, soul, rhythm and blues, gospel, and hip/hop artists including Lecrae, Polow Da Don, Ann Nesby, Jennifer Holliday, PJ Morton, Avery Sunshine, Marcus Johnson, The Mississippi Mass Choir, and many others. His soulful saxophone can also be heard on the Grammy Nominated “Love Has Finally Come At Last,” by Calvin Richardson. Mike was also a featured soloist on Hidden Beach Recordings “Unwrapped Volume 5.”
As if his performance credits weren’t prolific enough, Burton’s television and studio production work extends the list. He has appeared on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show, Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel, TV One, BET Jazz, and performed alongside pianist Bobby Lyle on the popular show Studio Jams. Mike was in the house band for the 2013 – 2016 Trumpet Awards (which aired on Tone 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 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). Burton has also written and/or produced songs for Alex Bugnon, Terrell Carter, Christian Keyes, Chandra Currelley, and Melvin Miller. Mike has released 3 independent projects, “Sojourn,” “Soulful,” and “The Producer.” Most recently, Mike and a few of his musician friends put together 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 Cannonball Saxophones, Jody Jazz Mouthpieces, and he uses Reunion Blues Gig Bags.