Justin Burdette, of Overtones Music Studio in Denham Springs, was one of two Southeastern Louisiana University alumni who were recognized at the 2019 Mississippi Guitar Festival at William Carey College in Hattiesburg.
Burdette earned second place in the festival’s Jazz Guitar Competition, co-sponsored by the Mississippi Guitar Alliance. A 2010 SLU graduate, Burdette maintains a substantial teaching schedule at Overtones Music Studio and also performs regularly throughout the region as a soloist and with the popular King Creole Orchestra.
Joining Burdette in the Jazz Guitar Competition was fellow SLU alumnus Zakkary Garner of Hammond, a 2013 graduate who earned first place. Garner is currently teaching in the Tangipahoa School System Talented Music program and has a CD to his credit, “Humble Ambition,” which features mostly original compositions.
In addition to his teaching duties, Garner maintains an active performance schedule as a saxophonist, guitarist, and pianist. Since graduating from Southeastern, he has been featured at music festivals throughout the United States and Europe.
Along with Burdette and Garner, current Southeastern junior Graham Guillory of Covington placed third in the Young Artist division of the competition that included national and international students performing music.
A student under instructor of guitar and coordinator of guitar activities Patrick Kerber, Guillory performed Dilermando Reis’ “Se Ela Perguntar” and Angel Barrios’ “Arroyos de la Alhambra.”
“It is certainly an understatement to say that I am very proud of and happy for these young guitarists,” Kerber said. “Music competitions are very difficult propositions, as musicians have to present what makes them happy – the joy of performing music - in the face of instant comparison and judgement.
“Their success in this event bodes well for their future academic and professional success.”