Born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 15, 1921, the loss of the use of a finger altered the direction of Vinnie Burke's career. A onetime violinist and guitarist, after his left pinky knuckle was crushed while working at a munitions factory, he was forced to shift to bass.
He worked with Joe Mooney and Tony Scott, then played with pianist Cy Coleman for three years. He spent a brief period with the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, then played with Marian McPartland, recording with her in 1953.
He led his own bands after that into the '80s; these were mainly small combos that would work with top jazz players. Burke also made solo dates and sessions with John Mehegan, Chris Connor, Eddie Costa, Tal Farlow, Don Elliott, and Gil Mellé, as well as Vic Dickenson, Bucky Pizzarelli, Mat Mathews, and Bobby Hackett.
Vinnie Burke passed away in New York City, on February 1, 2002.
Ron Wynn -All Music Guide