Jazz Elder Preserves "America's Gift to the World" Through Teaching

Jan 30, 2014

82-year-old jazz guitar legend Kenny Burrell is a rare musician for his generation, acquiring his bachelor's degree in music theory and composition. "When I was at Wayne State University in the '50s, it was a problem studying jazz, even talking about it in some cases," he says. "So I decided if I had a chance, I would teach jazz." Sean J. O'Connell of NPR Jazz talks with Burrell about his career in music and academia.

Kenny Burrell performs at his 80th birthday concert in 2011.
Credit Reed Hutchinson/UCLA