Aaron Burnett was born October 14th, 1981 in Lemoore, CA. Born with a natural talent for visual art, he began to study classical saxophone at the age 11. From then on he became interested in jazz music around the age of 16 and then began his musical journey into improvised music. After attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for classical and jazz performance from 1999-2001, he discontinued his schooling there and relocated to Boston in which attended Berklee College of Music for classical composition from 2005-2008, eventually graduating with a degree in Professional Music. Aaron has always stressed the importance of establishing a unique sound for himself while in college, studying classical Baroque composition techniques, studying advance harmony, world music, and atonal composition. He has performed with numerous great musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Teri Lyne Carrington, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, Ravi Coltrane, Sullivan Fortner, Peter Evans, Tyshawn Sorey, Jeff “Tain Watts, Ambrose Akinmusire, Wallace Roney, Giovanni Giudi, Fabrizio Bosso, just to name a few. He also toured with three time Grammy winner, Esperanza Spalding in her 2012 world tour with Radio Music Society. Aaron was also awarded the 2014/2015 Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Grant for his accomplishments in composition and improvisation. Burnett retains true essence and history of jazz in his music and his playing, always searching for new ways of interpreting the music while remaining modern and consistent with the times we live in.
The Big Machine is a project that was started in 2008 by Aaron Burnett with the intention of reflecting our urgency for freedom and peace in a world ruled by corporations and overwhelming technology. With this group once the creative gears get turning it truly becomes a vessel for higher spiritual understanding, harmony, beauty, complexity, precision, and melds the jazz tradition of the past and creative modern improvised music into a language of the present to awaken our senses and truly appreciate high energy art.
Sistine Criminals is a LIVE 3 piece – “Half Man, Half Machine” – hybrid electronic band founded by drummer/producer Greg “TORCH” Sgrulloni (Conspirator) and saxophonist/producer Aaron “BURN E.T.” Burnett (Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Tain Watts, Kim Thompson). We have also reintroduced and added our stellar bassist Nick Jozwiak back into the group dropping the dopest bass lines and grooves. Based in Brooklyn NY, the Sistine Criminals are known for bringing audiences high energy live performances containing “DJ-esque” style electronic beats spanning the genres of House, Drum n’ Bass and Trap. With a set up consisting of live drums and sax, an array of electronics and a DJ/Production setup with 3 computers synced to Ableton Live, the Sistine Criminals sets are a combination of pre-composed material and loop-based improvisation. Using this approach ultimately gives Sistine Criminals the freedom to create unique and unpredictable song forms while allowing them to interact with their audience and maintain their onstage chemistry and spontaneity. Sistine Criminals captivate their audience through what some have called a “high octane and mesmerizing live performance that is mind boggling and unpredictable seemingly demands an immense amount of technique, stamina, and precision.” Constantly challenging their levels of creativity and technical ability, the Sistine Criminals continue to push boundaries of what is considered possible by live musicians. By studying closely and absorbing the vocabulary across the full spectrum of electronic music, the Sistine Criminals aim to play each genre with as much stylistic integrity as possible while developing a signature sound.