I've been given a nickname by a friend, 'The Piano Playing Priest.' My website: www.mburkeop.com also has that title. This name was given to me about six years ago when my Dominican Order asked me to make music the focus of my ministry. I began a new life at that time, switching out of full time preaching and beginning to preach through music. I play a lot for the elders, especially at Our Lady of Wisdom Health Care Center on the Westbank of New Orleans. I've lived in the 'Big Easy,' for three and a half years, arriving one year after Katrina. I love it here and for a musician this is heaven. Though I'm a trained classical pianist, I do my shtick with my verson of jazz, sort of ballad style. My audiences like the standards and jazz sons. Recently, I've begun to play for some Fundraisers, first for Darfur, coming up Haiti and also for the Christ the Healer Mission group here in New Orleans. I gave a great concert on April 18th for the Trinity Artist Series here in NO. I composed new music for a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, 'God's Grandeur,' and Kyle Jones sang it. He's a fabulous singer here. Nanette Ledet danced to my music, created 'out of the moment.' It was a great show. I must get it on my website so you can view it. That's it for now. I intend to play and compose until I die!
'The Piano Playing Priest.'