Indiana University Bloomington’s African American Arts Institute is honoring Michael Burton, an IU and Soul Revue alumnus, who has gone on to become a renowned saxophonist touring with many well-known artists including Patti LaBelle, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, and many more.
Burton will receive the Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award during the IU Soul Revue’s 50th Anniversary banquet on Friday, April 22, 7:00 p.m. ET at the JW Marriott Indianapolis.
The Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award was created in honor of the founder of Indiana University’s African American Arts Institute and Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. Hudson believed in excellence for all students within the institute and the department as a whole.
The Hudson Alumni Award was established in 2005 as part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the African American Arts Institute. This annual award recognizes former student ensemble and staff members who have made outstanding contributions in the arts.
Past recipients of the award include current Soul Revue director James Strong, Crystal Taliefero, Cheryl Keyes, Kevon Edmonds (received during Soul Revue 40th anniversary), and Isiah Sanders.
Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Burton pays much of his music capabilities and talents to this city and his family. His mother is an original member of the Mississippi Mass Choir and his father is also a tenor saxophonist.
Burton earned both his B.A. and M.A. in Jazz Studies from the Jacobs School of Music and was a member of the IU Soul Revue throughout his time at IU (1996–2002). He also served as IU Soul Revue Horn Coach while a graduate student.
Burton has since gone on to record and perform with phenomenal musicians representing multiple genres in the music industry, such as Jill Scott, Patti LaBelle, Russell Gunn, Mary J. Blige, PJ Morton, New Edition, Anita Baker, Fat Joe, Arrested Development, Kirk Franklin and the Mississippi Mass Choir.
Burton has also appeared on television on shows like The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Inside the NBA on TNT, The Steve Harvey Show, Ellen, and Jimmy Kimmel.
“The Soul Revue truly enhanced my time at IU,” Burton said. “We were a family. I made some lifelong friends in this group. I met my wife in this group!”
Adding Burton to this list of recipients means to continue to add greatness to the archives and world of music at IU.
“I just want to stress the importance of the Soul Revue and the entire African American Arts Institute as it pertains to Indiana University. It is needed!” Burton said.
Read an interview with Burton to learn more about his IU Soul Revue story.
Burton was recently featured by the Archives of African American Music and Culture in the "AAAMC Speaks" documentary Series.