Growing up in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California Burk learned to play trombone in the spring of 1955 while in the 7th grade at Sequoia Junior High School. By the time he matriculated to Reseda High School in the fall of 1957 he played well enough to hold a chair in the premier dance band, The Regenairs. One of the few High School bands in the Los Angeles area accomplished enough to actually play paying gigs.
After graduation from High School Burk went to the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona to study architecture. While there he played in local and regional bands and mentored High School instrumental music students in the Tucson School System.
Returning to Los Angeles after college, he was employed by Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank. While at Lockheed he played lead trombone in the house band under the direction of Benny Goodman’s brother Harry. After about 8 years at the Burbank plant he accepted an assignment that kept him moving around the country and often away from home for extended periods so he put his horn away for a while.
After retiring from Lockheed in 1998 he started playing again in earnest. He’s played with The Recycles, the Shrine Swing Band, the All Star Orchestra and he and his wife, Carol own and operate a local 15 piece dance band, the Fascinating Rhythm Orchestra. He also works with Band Directors in Duval, Clay and St. Johns county’s on their Jazz Band programs and lectures at many elementary schools in the area. He has been a member of the Clay County Community Band for 19 years and is the founder and director of the Clay County Swing Band which he has led for the last 17 years. He has also served as President and Vice President of the Band and is currently the Grant Writer for the Band.
Among his other interests, in addition to his wonderful and supporting wife, Burk lists bandleader Glenn Miller, seascape and landscape painting in oils, wood working, model railroading, reading and Little League Baseball.