Mr. McBurnett has had a highly successful career. He entered the music industry as a performer in New Haven (CT) and Boston during the 60s. In 1971, he found himself in New Orleans and fell in love with the roots of American music. While performing with a traveling musical troupe, Papa Duke and the Mud People, his focus changed to production. David co-produced two major events 30 miles north of New Orleans, along the banks of the Mississippi. The first was “Calvary” on Easter weekend — a fusion of black gospel, folk, blues and rock & roll. The second event was “The People’s Party,” a celebration of life, music and food. He performed both with the group and as a solo act in both events.
David contributed to the first decade of growth for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, supplying logistics and production expertise. In that era, the festival grew from 5,000 visitors each day to 60,000 visitors. It is now the largest in the world, drawing over 100,000 fans daily. In 1980, he reunited The Meters, the legendary rhythm section from New Orleans, for a full-length video production. An offshoot of this band was their opening act, The Neville Brothers. This video landed the Neville’s first national recording contract.
Returning to NYC in 1981, David worked in TV and film distribution. In 1986, he produced his first national TV special, “Fats and Friends,” starring Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Paul Schaefer, and Rolling Stones’ guitarist, Ronnie Wood. ”Fats and Friends” achieved the highest viewer satisfaction rating in HBO/Cinemax history. With the success of this revolutionary format, McBurnett produced two more shows for this highly-regarded series: “Sass and Brass” featuring Sarah Vaughn and jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Al Hirt, among others. He produced the series finale: “Caliente Y Picante”, a Latin session starring Linda Ronstadt, Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia, Ruben Blades, Celia Cruz and Tito Puente in 1989.
Continuing his career in marketing, production and strategic analysis, David returned to New Orleans in 1991. There he produced Aaron Neville’s “Christmas in New Orleans,” featuring Linda Ronstadt, Take Six, The Neville Brothers, Irma Thomas and the New Orleans Philharmonic (1994).
Moving to South Florida in 1995, he created the plan to totally revamp the programming and distance learning capabilities of ITV, an instructional television system for Broward County that serviced the 5th largest school system in the US. At the end of the millennium, David took another turn. Using his marketing and strategic skills, he developed new creative aspects of Information Technology. Next, McBurnett became an Automation Supervisor for the decennial US Census supervising the computer activity for five offices in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Since then he has supplied his strategic skills and technical support to a variety of business clients.
In 2001, David became increasingly active in the environmental solution business. Active in the environmental movement since the late 60’s, David was determined to find solutions to our energy and environmental problems that actually worked. He knew that to work, solutions needed to be sustainable as a business platform. His longtime friend, Richard Woods, designed an exemplary environmental solution in a business friendly model. Richard created Albany Woodworks, a company that created the recycled wood industry. No longer where valuable assets bulldozed to make room for new construction but recycled into gorgeous doors, stairways, flooring and cabinets.
David began collaboration with Richard and Albany Woodworks in 2009 to focus on finding real solutions to energy and waste issues. This collaboration has continued and culminated in the formation of Waste to Energy Systems LLC.
David currently heads the sales, marketing, and strategic research areas for WES. In addition to his work with WES, David continues to apply his skills and experience in the entertainment industry in various ways.