Aaron Burnett has a wealth of experience in early years education. Throughout his teaching career, Aaron always used his acoustic guitar and his love of music to enrich the learning of the students in his care. When not educating children he has performed across Canada with some of Manitoba's best known bluegrass musicians from the Slavek Hanzlik Band to The Ain't No Mountain Boys, The Keystone Bluegrass Quartet and most recently The Dry River Boys.
In an effort to promote bluegrass to a young audience, Aaron decided to create an "album". Taking advantage of his teaching experience, he used the high interest topic of animals native to Canada as his theme for his first children's recording. With a deep love for outdoor activities and wildlife, this seemed a natural place to begin. Having a 'captive' audience to try the songs on proved to be very advantageous as well as educational.
In March of 2001, Aaron began to record the songs he had written opting for traditional bluegrass instrumentation and vocal harmony. He wanted to expose the kids to the rhythmic melodies of bluegrass music as experience had taught him that kids truly enjoyed this genre of music once they heard it. The self-produced recording project was completed in June 2001. The result ...13 wonderful songs and the CD entitled, 'Call of the Wild'.
In February 2002, 'Call of the Wild' was nominated for a Juno Award as Best Children's Recording in Canada. Aaron was honoured to attend the Junoís in St. John's, Newfoundland. Upon his return from the Junos, he played a variety of events around Manitoba including the Winnipeg International Children's Festival and the Winnipeg Folk Festival. In September '02, 'Call of the Wild' received further recognition being nominated for a Prairie Music Award as outstanding children's recording.
In 2003, Aaron's travel was restricted by his teaching job however, come summer Aaron was able to extend his "home range" to include Alberta and British Columbia. Because of Call of the Wild's "ecological integrity", Aaron was highly sought after by the national parks and he was honoured to play in Yoho, Banff and Jasper. In this "western tour", he was the featured children's performer at western Canada's largest bluegrass festival in Stony Plain, AB.
In 2004, Aaron released his second children's recording, "Get Off the Couch". This wonderful CD is a collection of music with Aaron backed by the musically talented bluegrass musicians, "The Dry River Boys" with Clint Dutiuame guesting on fiddle. Two of Manitoba's finest singers: 17 year old, Katherine Penfold along with two time Juno Award winner, Steve Bell harmonize beautifully with Aaron on several cuts.
Having recently "graduated" from more than 20 years in elementary school, Aaron is finally able to do what he loves best... sing and play guitar. He looks forward to continue entertaining in Manitoba and extending his performances across Canada.
...Colour-blue; Song-that's tough! It could be anything by Elvis or a Marty Robbins' tune; Animal-grizzly bear; Food-apple pie; Drink-apple juice; Sport to watch-hockey; Sport to play-football; Type of music-bluegrass; Subject at school-social studies; Teacher-Mrs. Fullerton. She was my grade 7 teacher and she turned me on to singing; Thing to do in spare time alone-play mandolin; Thing to do in spare time with a friend-go camping
Cool Things Aaron has done...
...Run nine marathons in Canada and the United States... been the Manitoba Chuckwagon Champion...hiked the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska and nearly walked into a grizzly... (photo above) hiked the West Coast Trail in British Columbia...snorkelled with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef... visited the Grand Palace in Thailand...rang the Peace Bell in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Japan... cycled the Kettle Valley Railway in BC... worked (we use the term loosely!) on a sheep station in New Zealand...had a sip of water from the Fountain of Youth at Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy... eaten a red (really red!) hotdog on the beach in Denmark... drooled over vintage guitars at Gruhn's in Nashville... heard some awesome music at the Grand Ol' Opry and Station Inn in Nashville... hiked in the Great Smokey Mountains and the Grand Canyon...