As some of you may know, Chick Corea and I won another Grammy award earlier this month for our recording HOT HOUSE (our 6th as a collaboration). The category was Best Improvised Jazz Solo. There are five Grammy categories for jazz: Best Jazz Ensemble (we were also nominated in this category and the winner was our long-time friend and collaborator Pat Metheny), Best Large Ensemble (the winner was Arturo Sandoval for a CD on which I appeared as guest soloist), Best Jazz Vocal (won by Esperanza Spaulding, one of my students when I taught at Berklee), and Best Latin Jazz recording. This is my 7th Grammy win, spaced out over the past five decades — at least one Grammy each decade.
My brand new project is an online music course, GARY BURTON: JAZZ IMPROVISATION, which I have just finished creating for Berklee Music, the online music school at my old college, Berklee College of Music. The creation of Berklee’s online school was one of my personal projects during the last years I was Executive Vice President at the college, and I am very pleased that it has become a roaring success in its first decade. I just couldn’t pass up the chance to be part of this marvelous educational venture. When I was a Berklee professor, my favorite activity was teaching improvisation, so it was pretty natural for me to translate my teaching approach into the online format. I look forward to working with students who enroll in the course this year.
I am now finished with my touring schedule for 2012 and the requirements of taking on a wide variety of projects over the past year turned out to be a little bigger than I expected. Last year, I toured a fair amount with Chick Corea and we released our latest CD, Hot House, released on Sept 4, 2012 (released a few months earlier in Europe). Hot House has been nominated in three Grammy categories (best jazz ensemble, best improvised solo, and best arrangement), and on February 10, the final results will be announced. We’ll see what happens!