He taught the guitar to swing.
World-renowned jazz artist Kenny Burrell made his recording debut as a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s sextet in 1951 and has been reinventing sound ever since. Known for his harmonic creativity, lush tones and lyricism on the guitar, he has led his own groups, appeared solo and in small combos, large ensembles and symphony orchestras. Burrell has recorded 97 albums under his own name and hundreds more with other musicians. In 1996 he became director of the then-new Jazz Studies Program at UCLA, where in 1978 he began teaching “Ellingtonia,” the first regular college course on the life and music of Duke Ellington. In 2005 he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for exceptional contributions to the art form.