Chris Burnett is an alto saxophonist, composer, recording artist and educator who began his active career at the age of 18 years old when he was selected by audition and accepted for musical service as a performing artist with the US Army Bands Career Program, where he performed and toured with several noteworthy professional US military band organizations for audiences at numerous locations in the continental United States and overseas. Subsequently, Mr. Burnett has continued as a life-long learner while performing music professionally for over three decades.
Born in Olathe, Kansas, he was ultimately raised in Paola after his family had traveled extensively in early childhood and lived at such places as: France, Michigan and Colorado. His studies in instrumental music began seriously under clarinetist, James R. Fuchs. Mr. Fuchs was the local school band director who exposed him to professional saxophone players like Charles Molina and Gary Foster during those formative years. He has studied with numerous significant teachers and at the Armed Forces School of Music, Webster University, Columbia College, Berklee College of Music, and American University.
Mr. Burnett is a former director of the Jazz Ensemble Program at Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly University of Missouri-Rolla); a former director of the NATO Jazz Ensemble; and, a former featured performing member of the Faculty Jazz Ensemble of the Armed Forces School of Music that was under the direction of Maurice Williams, Jr. (former leader of the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble).
As a composer, Mr. Burnett is the 1995 5-Star Award of Merit Winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs for his original composition and arrangement for big band titled, Daedalus. Daedalus was initially recorded by the award-winning Engineer Center Jazz Ensemble and published on the highly acclaimed compact disc recording by the 399th US Army Band, titled “Essayons” – which was also the first-ever CD recording released in that particular military band’s history. Today, Chris Burnett has established a credible reputation as one of the finest alto saxophonists of his generation and is considered among Kansas City’s most respected jazz artists. He has two commercial CD recordings available on the Artists Recording Collective label.
Mr. Burnett’s Professional Memberships include: American Federation of Musicians (Kansas City Local 34-627), The Recording Academy (GRAMMY®), and the US Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP). He serves as a member of the Kansas City Youth Jazz Advisory Council, and was most recently invited by Gene Hall to become a member of the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra. Mr. Burnett has been a writer-affiliate of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) since 1984.
Chris Burnett is a Selmer (Paris) Saxophone Artist and a Conn-Selmer Performing Artist and Clinician.