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Living His Dream

Saxophonist Michael Burton is living his dream. Like most successful people, it all started with a little encouragement, and a lot of hard work and dedication.  Now he’s touring with a best selling playwright, sharing the stage with Grammy award winning singers and an Oscar winning actresses. Burton has a career that most aspiring musicians only dream about.


Growing up in Jackson, Miss. Burton began playing the saxophone in the seventh grade after experiencing his father and some older friends playing. It was at Jackson Public School’s Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex (APAC) that Burton began deepening his musical skills and knowledge.

With a little bit of encouragement from a performing arts teacher, by the time he was 16 he knew that music was something he’d be doing for the rest of his life.  “I was going to go to college and major in something like history, but my teacher told me I should do something with my talent,” said Burton. With the inspiration of people such as his mother, who sings in the Mississippi Mass Choir, jazz musician eZra Brown, saxophonist and Jackson State University teacher Russell Thomas, and musicians in his church, Burton grew to perfect his craft.


Burton’s love for music put him in the right place at the right time.  His talents landed him the opportunity to be an extra for “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion” the movie. Burton credits that opportunity as his big break. “Working with him has opened up many doors for me and has allowed me to work with so many other people,” said Burton. Burton has also toured with stage plays   “Madea Goes to Jail,”  “What’s Done in the Dark,” “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” as well as recording artists such as Jill Scott, New  Edition, Johnta Austin, Robin Thicke, Byron Cage, Fergie and blues singer Willie Clayton.

“It’s been a great experience working with so many different artists and I’m willing to work with anyone,” said Burton.  While he is an instrumentalist, Burton also does a great deal of composing. Burton’s compositions are inspired by various genres of music, but he prefers heartfelt and soulful music, especially soulful singers from the 1960’s and 70’s. “It’s like a melting pot of influences,” said Burton.

Burton lives a full life. He’s a husband, father of two, and recently released his new album entitled “Soulful.” He has also been playing on “The Monique Show,” which he says is starting to become a regular gig.

Burton is a true example of professional who is young, gifted and making it happen.


Article written by Brittany Cistrunk

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