Jo Lynn Burks was recently named as the second place finalist for the American Prize in Conducting, Musical Theatre Division, for Belmont’s performance of “Parade.” Burks was selected from applications reviewed from all across the United States. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the US based on submitted recordings. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts.
Burks received a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Music from the University of Alabama and then went on to receive her Master’s of Musical Theatre from the University of Miami, Florida. She now wears many hats as a musical director, orchestrator, singer, pianist and teacher. As a keyboard player/singer, Burks has toured with Gladys Knight, Lead Singers of the TEMPTATIONS, a solo tour with Roger Daltrey of The Who and with many Nashville touring artists including Laura Bell Bundy.
Solo pianist/singer engagements include New York City’s The Carlyle, the Waldorf-Astoria, The Plaza and fun, Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans. On Broadway, she originated a principal role in “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.” Other Broadway credits include “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Hairspray,” “All Shook Up” and “The Color Purple.” Her national tours include “Fame,” “Mamma Mia,” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Hair” and “Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians.”
Additional information about the American Prize can be found here.