Pianist/composer/educator Greg Burk has lived, studied, educated and performed around the world. Over the last decade, living and working in Detroit, Boston and now Rome, he has established himself not only as a vital sideman, but also as a leader with the rare ability to combine original compositions with memorable melodies and a desire to push the creative envelope as an improviser.
He has been called an exceptional pianist/composer (All Music Guide), a pianist and composer with vigorous, freewheeling ideas that always feel grounded within a well-reasoned structure (Boston Herald), a pianist with a gift for melody and a generous touch that makes you want to like him (LA Weekly), and a musician that plays with an apparent love and passion for his craft (AllAboutJazz).
Greg grew up in a culturally diverse and musical household. His father, Dennis Burk, was an internationally active conductor and the son of Russian and Polish immigrants. Greg's mother, Giovanna Collonelli, was a singer and linguist who came to the U.S. in her 20's. In her native Italy, she was a trained opera singer and winner of a national competition to study at La Scala in Milan. Greg began studying piano at age six with his grandmother, Billie Endervelt, a classically trained pianist and improviser who accompanied silent movies in her youth.
At 15, Greg discovered jazz and by 16 he was working professionally, playing solo gigs and in a group with some friends. Before leaving high school, his group performed at DownBeat's Musicfest in Chicago, where Greg was awarded outstanding soloist. His decision to become a professional musician was solidified as a teenager when friend and Detroit-based bassist Rodney Whittaker took him to hear and sit in with veteran jazz musicians and the talented younger players from the city's fertile musical scene.