Bassist Dwayne Burno Dies at 43

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

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

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.

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.

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.