Born: August 26, 1961 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Vicki Burns is a jazz singer who has been delighting audiences for years. A vocalist with impeccable taste, a sure sense of rhythm and a glorious tone, she infuses each song with heartfelt expression, digging into the lyrics and melody for their richest interpretation. No wonder the great jazz drummer; Max Roach once described Vicki’s singing as “a gold mine”!
Some of Vicki’s performing highlights in New England include: singing with the great jazz drummer, Alan Dawson, for the Martin Luther King Jr. “Journey into a Dream” Concert series in Boston and opening for Billy Taylor and Max Roach in the “Bright Moments” Concert series in Amherst, MA. She has performed regularly at these Boston area jazz clubs: Ryles, 1369 Club, the Starlight Roof and the Turtle Café. She has also been featured on “Music America”, a syndicated WGBH broadcast hosted by Ron D’Ella Chiesa.
While still a student, she sang with a popular big band, The Clayton Poole Jazz Orchestra and was chosen by John Coltrane’s biographer Bill Cole among others for the New England Touring Arts program.
On the West Coast Vicki has performed at Garden City in San Jose, The San Jose Museum of Art’s “Women in Jazz” series, a featured spot in the San Jose Jazz Festival , The Great American Music Hall with the Oakland Jazz Choir, Kimball’s East with Madeline Eastman and the Oakland Jazz Choir and the Fillmore Street Jazz Festival . She became a favorite performer at Enrico’s San Francisco’s acclaimed beatnik haunt, establishing a firm fan base which included the infamous Carol Doda. She was featured at Yoshi’s with flautist Nika Rejto and at the Plush Room where she collaborated with acclaimed pianist, Ken Muir noted for his long association with Paula West.
In 2005, Vicki released her debut CD which features original music, lyrics and arrangements of both familiar and rare standards. Entitled Siren Song it is produced by Vicki and the acclaimed flugal hornist, Dmitri Matheny, who also arranges some of the material. Matheny described her voice as a “wonderful, rich instrument”. Jazz critic Dan Ouellette said of her debut recording that she “succeeds with rapturous, mystical beauty”.
In October of 2008, Vicki released a second CD, Vicki Burns Quartet: Live At Anna’s Jazz Island. Receiving broad critical acclaim and airplay, it has served as a delightful introduction to the New York City jazz scene where she now finds herself. Recently, she has performed to enthusiastic audiences at North Square in the Washington Square Hotel and the 5 C Cultural Center in the East Village.
Awards:PPI Radio Award/National Radio Award 2008 for the radio series "Jazz on the Bay", hosted by Melanie O'Reilly and features interviews and the music of jazz musicians/vocalists of the Bay Area as well as international jazz artists such as Dave Brubeck, Marion Mc Partland, Chick Corea, and James Moody. The winning series included "Women of jazz on the Bay, " which featured artists such as Vicki Burns, Anna de Leon, Susan Muscarella, Frankye Kelly, Tammy Hall, Faye Carroll,and Denise Perrier.
Vicki Burns has a limitless future. Her very attractive voice, versatile style and infectious delivery combine to give her her own memorable sound.” Scott Yanow
Vicki Burns does indeed 'burn' on this recording. The stars were aligned just right when she was blessed with a singing voice that was made for the jazz idiom. John Gilbert ejazz.com
On Siren Song released 2003:
Singer VICKI BURNS is next from her new release, SIREN SONG …(A) Bay area singer of jazz interpretation, Burns will blow your mind. A young Carol Sloane? I’ll try not to get to far out in hyper never land, but this lady has got it and it’s all on this CD. A June Christy like thrill… Sometimes the small labels create great music and VICKI BURNS is one to be reckoned with... Would a Helen Merrill comparsion apply here? “Bop’N” Dick Crockett “The Voice” 88.7 fm Sacramento, CA.
”For a debut CD collection, SIREN SONG gives the listening audience topnotch performances from all concerned. Vicki Burns is a knockout with her beautiful vocals, and phrasing. The musicians with her are excellent.” Lee Prosser jazzreview.com
“Avoiding the predictability of safe havens, her music brims with many more surprises and uncharted delights in the jazz tradition. Vicki Burns is irresistible.”
Dr Herb Wong, Bay Area Producer and reviewer, Jazz Education Journal, Nov./Dec. 2003
New York, NY
Willing to teach:
MA Improvised Music, San Jose State University May 2000, BA Classical Performance, University Of New Hampshire, 1983 Currently teaching both private students and classes at Blue Bear School of Music, San Francisco, CA