Pianist Rahn (Ron) Burton Dies at 78

Best known for his work with Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Rahn Burton
Rahn Burton

Pianist Rahn Burton, also known as Ron Burton and best known for his work with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, died Jan. 25 in New York City. The cause of death has not been reported.

Burton was born in 1934 in Louisville, Ky., and began playing in that city in the early 1950s. He joined Kirk’s group in 1953 and stayed with him for six years, recording with Kirk for the Argo label. Later Burton toured with George Adams, rejoining Kirk in the late ’60s and remaining with him into the mid-’70s. He started his own band, the African-American Connection, in the early ’70s while also freelancing with other musicians.

Jeff Tamarkin

Jeff Tamarkin on social media

Jeff Tamarkin is the former editor of Goldmine, CMJ, Relix, and Global Rhythm. As a writer he has contributed to the New York Daily News, JazzTimes, Boston Phoenix, Harp, Mojo, Newsday, Billboard, and many other publications. He is the author of the book Got a Revolution: The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane and has contributed to The Guinness Companion to Popular Music, All Music Guide, and several other encyclopedias. He has also served as a consultant to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, NARAS, National Geographic Online, and Music Club Records.