Australian jazz icon Don Burrows has passed away at the age of 92.
Aussie Jazz great James Morrison was mentored by Don Burrows. In a statement from James Morrison Enterprises we learn:
Last night an era in Australian music ended, when jazz icon and Australian living treasure Don Burrows passed away peacefully at the age of 91.
“He touched so many lives and inspired generations of musicians and audiences alike, with his unbridled passion and a determination to spread the joy he felt when playing the music he loved so much”.
“Like many others, I was privileged to have him as a mentor and dear friend. I will always carry with me the way he looked when he played – a smile that said he was doing what he loved and a glint in his eye that meant he couldn’t believe his luck to be a jazz musician.” “He had many great sayings but one struck me the most – “You’re only as good as the company you keep”, and in his company, I’ve been my best.”
“Don achieved so many things and received so many accolades – but I know the only thing that really mattered to him was to pass on his gift and leave the world a little bit better place…rest easy mate, job done.”
Don Burrows became a music teacher and flautist in Sydney in 1937. That same flute was played years later at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Burrows had a six year residency at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney in the 60s and 70s. In 1972 he played the Montreux Jazz Festival and after the Newport Jazz Festival.
Don was awarded The Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1973, Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1987) and had an Honorary Doctorate in Music from both the University of Sydney and Edith Cowan University in Perth.
Don was inducted into the Australian Jazz Bell Awards Hall of Fame in 2007.
Don Burrows had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.