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Dwayne Burno

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b. 10 June 1970, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 28 December 2013, New York City, New York, USA. Having heard music from a very early age, Burno had decided upon a musical career before attending school, and by the time he reached 16 was playing bass. Although taking notice of various popular musical forms, he concentrated on jazz and in 1989 played with Donald Harrison. The following year, after working with Jesse Davis, he moved to New York, where he became a member of the trio accompanying Betty Carter. After almost 18 months with the singer he began freelancing, playing with several distinguished musicians, among them Roy Haynes, Joe Henderson, Benny Golson, Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis. Concurrently, he also worked with his own small groups. During this period, the early 90s, Burno began stretching his musical wings as a composer. His playing style reflected his deep awareness of many forms of post-Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker jazz and in particular he drew inspiration from bass masters Oscar Pettiford, Sam Jones, Ron Carter and Buster Williams. Burno also recorded with Ingrid Jensen on Here On Earth, and on Dena DeRose’s Another World. Still based in New York at the start of the new millennium, he regularly led a quintet that featured, at various times, contemporaries such as Renato Chicco, Joe Farnsworth, Steve Nelson, Steve Wilson and Sheryl Bailey. His choice of musicians for his band, Burno declared, drew him to those who ‘possess a willingness and openness that allows them to handle any musical challenge’. Burno was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2004 and underwent a kidney transplant in 2010 but, after battling the disease for years, he died on 28 December 2013 at only 43 years of age.

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