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|Birth name||Terrance Corley Burrus|
|Born||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
|Genres||Jazz fusion, jazz-funk, classical, electro, house music, soul, pop rock|
|Occupation(s)||Pianist, keyboardist, organist, record producer, composer, conductor, dj, bandleader|
|Instruments||Piano, keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, melodica, double bass, organ|
|Labels||Ichiban, Ichiban-EMI, Arista, Bee Pee, Easystreet, Blue Corner|
Born in Brooklyn, New York, he started touring as a teenager playing with jazz fusion violinist Michał Urbaniak and singer Jean Carne, while still in high school in New York. Terry went on to replace Urbaniak's keyboardist at that time, Barry Eastman (who wrote "You Are My Lady" years later for Freddie Jackson) in Urbaniak's band. Burrus was brought to Jean Carne through percussionist-producer Norman Hedman who was one of Burrus's musical mentors as a child also. Later on through these types of associations, Burrus went on to play with trumpeter Tom Browne, drummer Lenny White and singer Melba Moore. Recommended by his friend pianist Kenny Kirkland, who was the keyboardist for Sting during the mid-1980s, Burrus moved on to play with the great Lena Horne in her award-winning show Lady And Her Music in 1984. Her band comprised Terry on piano and keyboards, Ben Brown on bass, Rodney Jones on guitar, Wilby Fletcher on drums, along with music director Linda Twine and an array of orchestras on various concert dates, including the London Symphony Orchestra.
In 1983 Terry released his first solo single, called "Love Rockin'", for Arista Records a funk/electro/soul piece written and with all vocals and instruments by Burrus, with high-school buddy Omar Hakim drumming. This was known as Terry Burrus And Transe, produced by Burrus and Marcus Miller, another high-school friend. Burrus and Miller, along with drummer Poogie Bell, Bobby Broom, another high-school guitar friend, and Bernard Wright (also a high-school companion) went on to play for an off-Broadway show written by Weldon Irvine in 1977 called Young Gifted And Broke at the Billie Holiday Theater in Brooklyn, New York. Irvine had co-written with Nina Simone the famed song "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black". Return To Forever's drummer,and jazz fusion pioneer Lenny White joined the "Young Gifted And Broke" crew of musicians as a second and replacement drummer for Poogie Bell at times, during the post Chick Corea Return to Forever season.
As time went on Terry became a highly respected and successful recording session man, playing on recordings of Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, Janet Jackson, Swing Out Sister, Mariah Carey, The Cardigans, Donna Summer, Lisa Stansfield, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Phyllis Hyman, Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, Satoshi Tomiie, Todd Terry and others. Being no stranger to synthesizers and electronic sounds, Burrus is said to own just about every electric keyboard that has came out since the Wurlitzer electric piano. In addition Burrus has always been intrigued by the great classical masters, having studied the artistry of Mozart, Beethoven, Handel and others during his school days in New York, and in his contemporary piano compositions and playing can be heard classical influences. He performs many classical piano recitals around the world as well playing as in the jazz and pop genres.
Burrus has been sideman/music director on many tours of Jazz Explosion, as they were known in the 1980s and '90s, as well as on soul and gospel concerts with the Harlem Gospel Singers, Lionel Hampton, Gato Barbieri, George Benson, Angela Bofill, Larry Carlton, Bill Withers, Ramsey Lewis, Crown Heights Affair, Chaka Khan, Ronnie Laws, The Main Ingredient, Johnny Kemp, Stanley Clarke, Noel Pointer, Bobbi Humphrey, Sherry Winston. Burrus also wrote and produced with the president of Philadelphia International Records, Kenny Gamble, including "Living In Confusion" and "Forever With You" for Phyllis Hyman. Burrus wrote "I Just Love You So Much" for Billy Paul and wrote/produced "Love Goddess" for Lonnie Liston Smith. Burrus also wrote and produced "I'll Wait for You" and "The One And Only Lady In My Life" for Virgin recording group Burrell, among a long list of other compositions and productions to his credit.
With contributions to the many remixes of artists from the 1980s and '90s to the present day, reinforcing the sound of house music and electronic music, his early associations working with Def Mix Productions, Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, Satoshi Tomei and Todd Terry, Junior Vasquez, Paul Simpson, Winston Jones, Dave Shaw, Jellybean Benitez, Tony Humphries, François K and many other international and American DJ producers have rooted him well on the dance-floor and in the remix world. Burrus has created sounds in electronica that he has extended into the world of Techno, Trance, Ambient, World music and more, his piano style especially being prevalent and dominant in the 1990s on many recordings by well known and new artists around the world. From his teenage days as a jazz fusionist to funkster to house and electronica pioneer, Burrus has been an ambassador of electronic music.
Terry Burrus's interest in the organ and piano began at the age of five in Brooklyn at the Washington Temple Church Of God In Christ, a Pentecostal church under the founder Pastor Bishop F.D. Washington. Terry's mother Carter Lee and father James had been singing in the choir there since the mid-1950s. By the time Terry was five his parents enrolled him at the Alfred Miller Music school where he excelled to the point where he was playing gospel hymns a year or so later.
He went on to study music in New York City at the La Guardia School of Arts (formerly known as Music and Art) and later attended Long Island University in New York. All the while he was recording in his personal and public recording studios as well as playing concerts worldwide as a sideman with Jean Carne, Michael Urbaniak, Tom Browne, Stanley Turrentine, Lenny White, Lena Horne, Phyllis Hyman, Crown Heights Affair and The Main Ingredient with Cuba Gooding. Terry Burrus always credits Sticks Evans, his junior high-school music teacher at John Coleman I.S.271 Junior High School in Brooklyn, for giving him encouragement and inspiration as a youngster. Stick Evans played drums for Aretha Franklin and Sammy Davis, Jr. Apart from being his teacher and mentor, Stick Evans regarded Terry as a little brother or even a son, and it was through this relationship that Burrus acquired strength to go on in the music world in life. In the late 1980s Burrus even took a newly built apartment in mid-Manhattan, in the area where Evans lived for many years until his death in the early '90s.
As a leader
- Bust It Out (1989; Easystreet records)
- Dance To The Mix (EP) (1990; Easystreet records)
- Urban smooth Jazz (album) (2006; Ichiban records)
- Mighty Mouth Vavoom (1985; Zakia/Bee Pee records)
- Invisible Weapon (1994; Startrak records)
- Love Rockin (1983; Arista records)
- Nation 2 Nation (1992; Ichiban records)
- Free Spirit" (album)|Free Spirit (1991; Ichiban-EMI records)
- Soul Of Jazz (1996; Ichiban records)
- I Am For You (1996; Lovelight records)
- Acid Jazz Hipabop Project (1994; Lovelight records)
- At The Konzerthaus In Dortmund (2007; Blue Corner records)
- Global Dancefloor Booked (2008; Lovelight records)
As a sideman
- George Benson - Big Boss Band with the Count Basie Orchestra (album) (1990; Warner Bros. records)
- Lonnie Liston Smith - Love Goddess (album)-(1990; Startrak/Ichiban records)
- Tom Browne - Yours Truly (album) (1981; GRP/Arista records)
- Very Best Of Tom Browne - (compilation)(Arista-BMG)
- Michael Jackson - They Don't Care About Us (compilation) (1996; Epic records)
- Michael Jackson - You Are Not Alone (1995; Epic records)
- Cardigans - Love Fool (1997; Motor/Mercury records)
- Mary J. Blige - Everything (1997; MCA/Universal)
- Phyllis Hyman - Prime Of My Life (album) (1992; Zoo Entertainment)
- Phyllis Hyman - Living All Alone (album) (1986; Philadelphia International records)
- "Various - Very Best Of Euphoric House Breakdown (compilation) (2003; Telstar TV)
- Robert Miles - One On One Remixes (compilation) (1996; Arista records)
- Reprint of Billboard Article
- Easy Street Records page
- All About Jazz page
- Jazz Review article