Art "Turk" Burton is a well recognized conga and bongo drum jazz artist who has played with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Ari Brown, Chico Freeman, Muhal Richard Abrams and Joseph Jarman to name a few. He continues to play on the Chicago jazz and creative music circuit.
Art received a full scholarship for jazz percussion to attend Governors State University and played in the GSU Jazz Band under Dr. Warrick Carter, where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in African American Studies.
A member of the Chicago based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (A.A.C.M.) since 1973, Burton has shared musical experiences with Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Waits, Sonny Stitt, Muhal Richard Abrams, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Kenny Barron, Lester Bowie, Lou Donaldson, Ira Sullivan, Jimmy Forrest, Willie Pickens, Randy Weston, Chico Freeman, Amina Claudine Myers, Richard Evans, Kwame Steve Cobb, Charles Stepney, George Freeman, Lester Bowie, Henry Threadgill, Joseph Jarman, Don Cherry, Marquis Hill and Elvin Jones.
In 1996, Art played percussion on saxophonist Vandy Harris’ recording PURE FIRE. In 1998, he played percussion on a critically received recording by noted Chicago saxophonist Ari Brown titled VENUS for the Delmark label. In 2004 he played percussion on the critically acclaimed recording HOPE, FUTURE, DESTINY by flautist Nicole Mitchell. In 2015, Art was featured on a new live recording by the AACM Experimental Ensemble titled A SUITE UNHEARD. In 2018, Art was featured on a recording titled the AACM Great Black Music Ensemble “Live @ The Currency Exchange Café, Volume 1.”
Art was elected Chairman of the Association for the A.A.C.M. for the year of 2011 and is currently the Secretary. He has played the bongo and conga drums professionally for over 40 years. In recent years Art has performed in Renee Baker’s Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, the AACM's Great Black Music Ensemble and the South Side Big Band led by Tom Washington.
Art Turk Burton has led the Congo Square Artistic Ensemble for the last thirty years plus. Artists who have performed with the group include Henry Threadgill, Ari Brown, Edwin Daugherty, Ernest Dawkins, Luba Raashiek, Malachi Favors, Don Moye, Avreeayl Ra, Dushun Mosley, Sammie Torres, Nicole Mitchell, Ann Ward, and others. Congo Square reclaims the past to project the future in musical statements. Inspired by Congo Square in historic New Orleans, the music is a continuum of sounds that have enriched the traditions of creative and cultural American musical traditions. Art Turk Burton and Congo Square Artistic Ensemble has released a CD titled "SPIRITS: THEN AND NOW," featuring saxophonist Ari Brown. A new CD is was released in 2019 titled “ANCESTRAL SPIRITS,” featuring saxophonists Ari Brown, Edward Daugherty and vocalist Maggie Brown.