Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

Sonny Burke

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, composer and arranger Joseph Francis “Sonny” Burke studied piano and violin as a child. He later switched to the vibes, which would become his signature instrument.

He began playing in dance bands at an early age, leading his own group at Duke University. When Detroit orchestra leader Sam Donahue left his outfit in 1938 to work with Gene Krupa, Burke inherited the band. With encouragement from famous music critic John Hammond he brought the orchestra to New York, where they eventually landed a booking at the Roseland Ballroom and a recording contract with Okeh Records. The band never really achieved stardom but did produce some nice sides in its short life. The group's female vocalist was Lynne Sherman.

Read more

1 Photos

Discography

Similar

Premium Profiles

Norman David Norman David
sax, soprano
David Longoria David Longoria
trumpet
Chris Greco Chris Greco
reeds
Karl Berger Karl Berger
band/orchestra
Nicolas Bearde Nicolas Bearde
vocalist
William Mentz William Mentz
vocalist
LJ Folk LJ Folk
vocalist
Mark Lewis Mark Lewis
saxophone
Chris Abelen Chris Abelen
trombone
Behn Gillece Behn Gillece
vibraphone
Jack DeSalvo Jack DeSalvo
guitar
Brad Myers Brad Myers
guitar

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!