Welcome to our family website. We are musicians and live in the northwest Kansas City metropolitan area. We are life-long members of the creative class and have remained professionally active performing, teaching, and recording for decades.
Our experiences include many successful endeavors and many learning experiences. We are empty nesters who believe in the importance of family and community service. We believe in entrepreneurialism and optimism.
Performed by Christopher Burnett Ensemble: Christopher Burnett – alto saxophone, composition; Roger Wilder – piano; Jeff Harshbarger – bass; Clarence Smith – drums; with Terri Anderson Burnett and Freda Proctor – flutes. Commercial studio recording. Audio Engineer: Craig Rettmer, C.R. Sound, Kansas City.
Our line of the Burnett Family was established in 1979.
We met while living in Europe as adults.
Both of us are professional musicians.
We dated a couple of years and got married overseas while both of us were still working with the Army band in Germany.
Our immediate family is made up of our adult children and grandchildren.
Our extended family includes many very talented people – our siblings and all relatives of many surnames whom we each grew up with while living the first couple of decades of our lives in our parents’ homes.
We love all of them very much.
I’m a black American with the Burnett surname and I’m from the Kansas City area. I have many Burnett cousins. The inherent demographics of our surname are interesting and show us as a relatively small population.
And, I met several of my actual relations from the McKinley Burnett line of the family (see above photo) for the first time a few years ago when I worked as the marketing director at the jazz museum in Kansas City. It was cool.
At this point, we have lived most of our individual lives together and as our own family. And, we have also made life-long friends who have known us most of our lives and become “part of our family” indeed.
This is not a genealogy site. We have had people on both sides of our families who have done decades of family history research. We are not undertaking that task. This is simply our family’s website and blog.
Burnett is an English surname. It is derived from a nickname from the Old French burnete, brunette, which is a diminutive of brun meaning “brown”, “dark brown”. Another proposed origin of the name is from burnete, a high quality wool cloth originally dyed to a dark brown colour.
In 1998, I wrote an essay for a publication where I spoke about the various phases of life a person could likely go through. The first twenty years in your parents’ home. The next twenty years leading a family with your own children in your home. The next twenty years using the first forty years of experience to impact your community positively. And the last twenty years basically doing whatever your health, desires, and vigor in your 80s and beyond will allow. We’re in our third vicennial. It’s even lots cooler than I thought it would be when I wrote that article back then. Anyone who isn’t motivated about getting here and beyond in age and life should be.
Our mother, Vi Burnett said something to me once about her family and us children that I continue to find to be subtly insightful. “You don’t know what type of people you are raising. You just do your best and hope life doesn’t hurt them too badly that it dampens their spirit.”
PROJECT #1 – STUFF: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE My professional recording debut was in 1979 as a soloist with the Hof Symphony Orchestra in Germany. Our Army band jazz ensemble performed Concerto for Jazzband and Symphony Orchestra, the 12-tone serial work by Rolf Liebermann, and I played the alto solo. I was still just 22 years …
With the advent of social media and email, most of our family and friends already have our contact information. We usually stay in touch a few times a week at a minimum as well. But, if you are not otherwise connected with us online and want to get in touch, click the envelope to send email.