Gary Burton was born and raised in Indiana. He taught himself to play the vibraphone, becoming a virtuoso as well as a major innovator on his instrument having mastered the challenging four-mallet technique. Gary studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music then joined George Shearing and subsequently Stan Getz. Burton's first quartet was a progenitor of the jazz/rock fusion phenomenon. The Gary Burton Quartet expanded to include guitarist Pat Metheny and the band began to explore a repertoire of modern compositions.
In addition to a busy performance career, Mr Burton has been continuously involved in education. In the 1971, Burton began his faculty career at Berklee College of Music. In 1996 he was appointed Executive Vice President, a position he held until his relocation to South Florida in 2004. Mr Burton works extensively from his home base in Fort Lauderdale and serves as Artistic Advisor to South Florida JAZZ.
Makoto Ozone (O-zo-nee) was born in Kobe, Japan in 1961, the product of a jazz organist father. He was playing the organ by age two and improvising the blues by age seven. It was a concert by the legendary Oscar Peterson that compelled him to switch to the piano at the age of twelve.
Makoto came to Boston in 1980 to study at the Berklee College of Music, where Gary Burton was a composition and percussion instructor. After graduation he made his first American solo appearance in 1983 with a recital at Carnegie Hall. The incredibly talented young man struck a record deal with CBS, making his international debut in 1984 with the album OZONE. His mentor Gary Burton invited him into his quartet and took him along on a world tour. They have been collaborators in the duet format for two decades and recorded the Grammy-nominated Virtuosi in 2002.
The versatile Mr Ozone has hosted a TV series in Japan, ventured into electronica and composed for and played with classical orchestras. In addition to working with his own jazz trio from his home in New York, he continues to perform in classically inspired phenomenal duets with vibist Gary Burton.