Gary Burton (born January 23, 1943) is an American jazz vibraphonist, composer, and educator. Burton developed a pianistic style of four-mallet technique as an alternative to the prevailing two-mallet technique. This approach caused him to be heralded as an innovator, and his sound and technique are widely imitated. He is also known for pioneering fusion jazz and popularizing the duet format in jazz, as well as being a major figure in music education from his 30 years at the Berklee College of Music.
Burton was born in Anderson, Indiana in 1943. Beginning music at six years old, he mostly taught himself to play marimba and vibraphone. He began studying piano at age sixteen while finishing high school at Princeton Community High School in Princeton, Indiana (1956–60). He has cited jazz pianist Bill Evans as the inspiration for his approach to the vibraphone.