Lifelong musician Junior Burke has seen his songs performed and recorded by a range of musicians on the national scene, including Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, The Boston Pops and the Rochester Philharmonic. Burke is also a successful prose writer and dramatist. His highly original novel, Something Gorgeous, which explores the historical background of the era that spawned The Great Gatsby, was published in 2005 by Farfalla/McMillan & Parrish.
In 1999, Burke won an Essay Award from New Millennium Writing, one of six writers cited nationally. He is currently chair of the Creative Writing program at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado, where he also teaches fiction, dramatic writing and literary studies.
Junior Burke Gets Creative
“A good song can be done any number of ways – country, pop, folk, R&B; or jazz,” notes Junior Burke and with good reason. Not only is he a consummate master of many musical styles, as demonstrated on his debut album While You Were Gone, but his songs have been performed and recorded by a wide range of artists in various genres, including Bob Dylan, Richie Havens, David Bromberg, Mandy Patinkin, Bonnie Koloc, Freddie Jackson, Utah Phillips, the Boston Pops and the Rochester Philharmonic.
Burke has been continuously polishing his songcraft at the same time that he has also become a published author, most recently of the novel Something Gorgeous, a work of fiction that takes an alternative look at the era that spawned The Great Gatsby, weaving in many historically accurate details of the period, the result of years of painstaking research.
In addition, Burke is also the chair of the Department of Writing and Poetics at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. With all of these artistic pursuits unfolding simultaneously, Burke remains committed to getting his music out there. As he says “I used to think my job was to say ‘Here’s how it is. Now it’s ‘Here’s how it could be.'”