Interview on Musicnotez the online magazine

21 Feb 2015 Article
MuzicNotez Interview: Name: Canary Burton Genre: Jazz/Classical URL:

MuzicNotez Crew: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you Canary, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.

Question: What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?

Answer: I'm glad to be here with you. I started learning the piano  and entered the music department at the University of Idaho at Moscow when I was 31.

Question: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?

Answer: So many influences; Thelonius Monk, Fredrick Chopin, I had my ear to the speakers all the time. Then in reality I followed Rifka Helton around as she grew into performing. I copied everything she did, except I don't sing. In school I loved my theory class every morning at nine. As I learned things I took them home and created a tune so I could use what I learned. I didn't know I was a composer until much later.

Question: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?

Answer: I have put all of my compositions on CD's and have them for sale at  I still have a few to do and I'm writing more so will have at least another album in me. My aim stays the same and is played out perfectly...”I want to be in that number” when the Saints go marching in.
I was a feminist in my 20's, still am a feminist. As such I had to trample a lot of barriers. For instance I, along with Yvonne Hoar, was the first women to take a composition course in University of Idaho history. There was a tremendous push back in reaction to the things we did. A woman heading up a rock or jazz band? Starting a class in improvised jazz. The women did all the work of setting it up but when we got in the door there were 30 young men, 12 lined up for the piano and a glare for us.

Question: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?

Answer: Betty Carter up close in a smoky Washing DC club
Rostropovich in concert in the opera house in Seattle

Question: You just won an award from the ‘International Alliance of Woman in Music’, how does it feel to be honored that way?

Answer:  I've relaxed a “muscle” in my body that was always poised to defend myself. Somehow this award let me let go.

Question: You recently followed up your last album ‘Jazz Bird’ with releasing two new Classical albums called ‘Classical Bird’ and ‘Bird Notes’. How come you moved to the Classical genre for these releases, and what makes these albums unique?

Answer: Classical music is where I transitioned into from jazz.
Both of those genre’s allow one to grow old gracefully. Also  I had just enough jazz for one album and enough chamber music to fit on two albums. I also have a singer songwriter album and a choral album and a solo piano album. I need everything to be recorded before I die. I figure the university students will dig up this generation of ignored female composers. We won't always be forgotten. It takes time to change a whole  society  I have my scores WITH PARTS PRINTED and sound files in The Wellfleet library and Fondazione Adkins Chiti: Donne in Musica

What makes your music unique?

Unique. Hum, I think my particular sound and direction is unique, not that I tried to do that. I tried to copy Fats Waller and Debussy and Satie. I think my limitations create my uniqueness as does my creativity.

Question: How does it feel exposing your music to all other kinds of musicians? What have you learned from them?

Answer: I read the musicians point of view on Reverbnation where I don't think a simple listener has ever been. I only hear the positive feedback. People don't tell me what they don't like. And there are tons of “likes”and fans. I've learned a great deal by writing music for commission. Occasionally someone seeking a score from me is terribly disappointed. But I learned. I've learned a lot from the women in the International Alliance of Women in Music.

Question: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?

Answer: I have three Latin influenced tunes in the works. Two or three pieces that didn't make it for this last round of recording. I also make sound art. I call them soundpaintings and I belong to the list serv female_pressure which hosts women sound artists from Europe and the USA.

Question: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?

Answer: My dear fans, rather than frustrating yourself on my site in facebook  which I seldom go to or sign up for my occasional email post either on my reviews page on my website  or on
Reverbnation or Radioairplay. And thank you, I love you too.

Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed by us at MuzicNotez. We will inform you once this interview is posted online! Stay tuned.



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