Vann Burchfield

Jazz, Christian Saxophone Holds Guinness record for longest note ever held on a wind instrument. 47 minutes and 6 seconds. 1963

Born: Birmingham, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

In February 2000, Vann set a new Guinness world record for circular breathing, holding one continuous note for 47 minutes, 6 seconds, surpassing Kenny G’s record of 45 minutes, 47 seconds. Vann realizes that his gifts come from God, and he gives Him all the glory.August 2001 Vann won first place at GMA’s seminar in the Rockies at Estes Park, Colorado for the national Solo Instrumental Artist competition. Vann has had the honor of performing at the White House on four seperate ocassions during their Annual Holiday Open House during the Christmas season. Vann was also privileged to entertain guests of Alabama's Governor Bob Riley at a Christmas party at the Governor’s Mansion in Montgomery, Alabama. Vann and his wife Teresa have traveled all over the world performing and sharing their talents. Teresa is a gifted singer and songwriter.



Alabama sax player finds ministry in music

By Brian Blackwell

September 13, 2001

Whether jazz musician Vann Burchfield is playing his beloved saxophone in front of a gathering of 20 or a crowd of 10,000, he says he has a great deal of peace knowing his career is a calling from God. But that was not always the case.

Reared in the Mormon church, Vann did the customary two-year missions trip that is expected of all young men in their late teens. Because of tight funds, he made the decision to sell his prized saxophone to acquire the needed cash. He assumed he would never see it again.

Ten years passed and Vann said he had an epiphany one night while attending a worship service at a Christian church.

“I realized I needed a Savior,” said the 30-year-old Burchfield. “I was doing all the right things for the wrong reason and trying to earn my way into heaven.”

Burchfield was saved in November 1993 during the service at Invernesss Church of God in Birmingham. It was then that he decided to use his talents to glorify God and decided to take up music again.

He went back to the store where he had sold his saxophone a decade earlier hoping to find a similar instrument. The owner mentioned that he had a saxophone in his warehouse like the one Burchfield described.

To his amazement, Burchfield was reunited with the same saxophone he had sold. He theorizes that the instrument had been placed in a warehouse and forgotten.

“When the man showed me the saxophone, chills ran up and down my spine,” said Burchfield, a member of Fullness Christian Fellowship in Birmingham Baptist Association. “God had preserved that horn all these years, and He let me know He was calling me back into music, this time for Him and His glory.”

After several years of working with a praise and worship band, he made the decision to pursue a solo career.

Burchfield came up with an attention-getting idea to help boost his career. He decided to break legendary musician Kenny G’s world record for circular breathing by holding one continuous note for more than 45 minutes and 47 seconds. On Aug. 2, after six months of preparation, Vann succeeded and set a new world record of 47 minutes and 6 seconds.

Burchfield also won first place in a national competition of the Gospel Music Association’s Seminar in the Rockies at Estes Park, Colo. In the company of such artists as Plus One, Third Day and Jaci Velasquez, Vann was the winner of the solo instrumental division and was one of the featured artists at the Cafe Estes concert.

After his award-winning performance, Trinity Broadcasting Network invited Vann to appear during the program’s “Praise the Lord” segment where he would perform songs from his “Shout to the King” CD. The Bessemer native has traveled the country playing his saxophone in churches, on television  and at musical festivals such as Birmingham’s City Stages.

Burchfield says God continues to bless him and his ministry, recalling one incident in particular. “During one of my concerts in Ohio, a man asked me if my wife, Teresa, and I needed anything for our ministry. I told him we needed transportation, and he took us to a Ford dealership and bought us a 2001 Ford Explorer complete with insurance and added protection up to 75,000 miles.”

The Burchfields are in full-time ministry, spreading the good news of the gospel, sharing their testimony and ministering in music.





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