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Roger Burn: 1962-2009
Roger Burn
vibes, keyboards, vocal

Born: April 13, 1962
Died: March 29, 2009 in Oceanside, CA

Vibist, keyboardist, leader of Shapes

by Todd S. Jenkins
Copyright © 2009 Todd S. Jenkins

Roger Edward Burn, vibraphonist and leader of the L.A.-based bands Shapes and Triple Spec, passed away March 29, 2009 at his parents' home in Oceanside, CA. A resident of Pasadena, he had fought a long battle with renal cell carcinoma.

As a young man Burn studied vibraphone and piano with artists like Victor Feldman and Ed Wolff. He performed on vibes, keyboards and vocals with artists like Lionel Richie and the Brian Setzer Orchestra before forming Shapes in the late 1990s. As composer and bandleader for the group, Burn helped to reshape the face of fusion in Southern California, and their two albums (“The Last Farewell” and “The Big Picture”) brought accolades from critics and fans worldwide. He also performed with Triple Spec, a Shapes offshoot with Yellowjackets bassist Jimmy Haslip, and taught at the Musician’s Institute. His vibraphone work can be heard on the soundtrack of "Sideways".

A benefit concert will be held at 8:00 PM on Friday, April 24 at the Musician’s Institute, 1655 N McCadden Place in Hollywood.

Roger Burn is survived by his parents, Rev. Dr. J. Edward Burn and Joyce Burn, brother Jim Burn, and sisters Bonnie Burn and Elaine Burn-Machorro. A memorial service is pending. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to San Diego Hospice Foundation, 4311 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103, or to the American Cancer Society.


Todd S. Jenkins
Todd S. Jenkins is a member of the JJA, author of Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press, 2004) and I Know What I Know: The Music of Charles Mingus (Praeger, 2006), and a contributor to Down Beat, All About Jazz, American Songwriter and Route 66 Magazine.

E-mail: Epistrophy@aol.com

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With 1 reader comment, posted June 27, 2013