Bassist Dwayne Burno Dies at 43

A first-call musician who worked with Hancock, Hubbard and many others

Dwayne Burno, a bassist who played with a who’s who of jazz artists and led his own groups, died Dec. 28, in New York City following a long battle with kidney disease. He was 43. Burno was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2004 and underwent a kidney transplant in 2010.

Born June 10, 1970 in Philadelphia, where his mother was a pianist and choral director, Burno began playing double bass at 16 and entered the Berklee College of Music two years later. His first professional gigs included work with saxophonists Donald Harrison and Jesse Davis, and by 1990, upon moving to New York, Burno was already being called on by major names in jazz, beginning with singer Betty Carter, whose band he joined.

Dwayne Burno, Danny Grissett, Jeremy Pelt, Gerald Cleaver and JD Allen, 2009
By Jimmy Ryan
Dwayne Burno

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The list of those with whom Burno played throughout his career also included Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Chambers, Betty Carter, Benny Golson, Clifford Jordan, George Colligan, Joe Henderson, Wallace Roney, Jeremy Pelt, Roy Haynes, Bobby Hutcherson, Harold Mabern, Dr. John, Mulgrew Miller, Steve Turre, Roy Hargrove, Cedar Walton, Abbey Lincoln, David Murray, Digable Planets, Brian Lynch, David Weiss, Chucho Valdes, Greg Osby, Nicholas Payton, Eric Reed, Luis Perdomo, Orrin Evans, Don Braden and others.

Burno appeared on more than 150 recordings and also led his own Dwayne Burno Quintet, which performed at New York’s Smalls and other venues.


  • Dec 29, 2013 at 04:57PM Blake Balderree

    To soon. Still young. RIP

  • Dec 29, 2013 at 09:42PM Kandie Webster

    Dwayne, I am so sad that your loved ones and musical family are without you. I will miss our long distance talks. Thanks for your open heart and kind words to me. You always stood strong for what you believed in and never wavered from those beliefs.

    Kandie Le Britain Webster in Washington State ~ jazzylover59

  • Dec 30, 2013 at 04:06AM susan tobocman

    Till we meet again, soulful giant...

  • Dec 30, 2013 at 11:45AM phoenix205

    RIP Dwayne! You were an amazing musician and devoted and loving father and husband. Support his wife and seven year old son at https://fundly.com/our-friend-wendy-just-lost-her-husband-and-needs-help

  • Jan 01, 2014 at 02:13PM jksmusicny

    Wendy, I offer my sincere condolences. James Smith here (trumpet) , I would often see you both here in the neighborhood (Ft Greene) when you lived here. It was a real treat seeing him do his father/family thing ... and seeing how much he loved his family!!! I could almost, aways count on seeing Dwayne in "Connecticut Muffin" with his computer ... I would never disturb him though, if he happen to look up and see me he would give a shout .. and that always felt good because his greetings to me were always warm and sincere, ... I am sadden and shocked to learn of his passing and my condolences again Wendy to you and your family.

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