Posts Tagged ‘ Jonathan Butler ’

Jonathan Butler – Living My Dream

South African icon Jonathan Butler is an elemental force of the stage. Where he performs the fire of entertainment burns. His fellow musicians love his vibrancy. They like to follow his call, when it comes to a new album.

Jonathan shouted out for support and they all came. In the liner notes are mentioned George Duke, Marcus Miller, Elan Trotman, Katisse Buckingham and a lot more.

Living My Dream (2014) is a concept album including the most important moments of his life. The journey begins with African Breeze, a soundtrack Butler recorded together with Hugh Masekela for the movie The Jewel of the Nile. A brilliant piece of South African pop jazz jive featuring Butler on nylon string guitar.

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Jonathan Butler – Living My Dream

LivingMyDreamIt took a while for Jonathan Butler to feel comfortable saying it, but the South African singer-songwriter-guitarist’s confidence has grown as he celebrates what he calls “the season of me” and finally admitting that he is living his dream. He tells the story of his life and loves in the eleven original songs that “came from the heart” on his forthcoming Artistry Music album, “Living My Dream,” which will be released June 24.

Like Butler’s best material from a diverse, award-winning and chart-topping career that’s spanned R&B, jazz, pop and gospel, “Living My Dream” provides an honest and revealing soulful songbook probing the artist’s passions: God, family and his homeland. He has been taking care of others ever since he was seven years-old when he became a child star and was the first black artist played on white radio stations while growing up under Apartheid. Writing and producing gold-selling albums and international hit singles, the two-time Grammy-nominee’s entire life has unfolded in the public eye. Enduring recent struggles forced him to do a lot of reflection and ponder the type of man he wanted to be. He decided that he was finally in a place where it was time to celebrate his own extraordinary life and accomplishments.

With a much needed push from his daughter, singer-songwriter Jodie Butler, and guitarist-songwriter Dennis Dodd Jr., he wrote music every day before heading into the House of Blues recording studio in Los Angeles to record the material in a live setting “like records used to be made.” Bassist-songwriter-producer Marcus Miller co-wrote “Let There Be Light” with Butler and played on that track as well as on “Be Still,” which Butler wrote with George Duke during a 5-hour visit to the late legend’s wine cellar. Saxophonist Elan Trotman also appears on “Let There Be Light.” Continue reading

Jonathan Butler – Merry Christmas To You

The early bird gets the worm. Keeping that in mind a Christmas album in October shouldn’t surprise us. While many of his fellow musicians already have released such an album, for Jonathan Butler it’s the first.

But late is not too late. So we have the opportunity to enjoy his pleasurable Christmas music. Among the supporting musicians are Dave Koz (sax), Rick Braun (trumpet), Paul “Shilts” Weimer (sax), Dan Lutz (bass) and Butler’s daughter, vocalist Jodie Butler.

Although most of the songs are classic Christmas hymns, Jonathan has incorporated a lot of his own personality into the album. He comments: “I wanted my fans to have a personal Christmas message from me.”

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Jonathan Butler – Merry Christmas To You

MCTYSanta Claus has a special treat to stuff in the stockings of all the good Jonathan Butler fans this Christmas: the first Christmas album by the two-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter-guitarist. Butler produced and arranged “Merry Christmas To You,” which will be released October 1 by Artistry Music. Two singles will be shipped to multiple radio formats this holiday season: an instrumental take on “Sleigh Ride” decorated with hallmarks from the South African native’s homeland, and the album’s title track, which is a retro-flavored R&B/adult contemporary ballad penned by Butler.

Butler recorded eight Christmas chestnuts for the collection and penned a pair of new songs, including “Happy Holidays,” an ardent urban groove ornamented with riffs of cool jazz guitar. High-profile hornmen Dave Koz, Rick Braun and Paul “Shilts” Weimer contribute to the festivities on a couple of tracks as does Butler’s daughter, vocalist Jodie Butler, and bassist Dan Lutz, who plays upright on a tune, but the heart of the intimate recording is Butler solo pouring his impassioned voice and acoustic guitar into the seasonal songs. His arresting performances and sparse production captivates, fostering an air of freshness to the evergreen material.

“These songs are beautiful on their own so I felt they didn’t need a lot of instrumentation. Plus I wanted my fans to have a personal Christmas message from me. That is why the CD has very little production and plenty of voice and guitar. It’s a very proud moment for me to finally have a Christmas record, which has been a long time coming. I hope fans feel blessed and uplifted when they play it at home or in their car or wherever they may be. I truly thank God for giving me the strength and the opportunity to make this album,” said Butler, who lives in California’s San Fernando Valley with his family.

The “Merry Christmas To You” album opens with an energizing version of the Donny Hathaway soul classic “This Christmas.” Butler applies South African vocalization, chanting and rhythmic percussion to “Little Drummer Boy.” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “The First Noel,” “O Holy Night” and the lesser known “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” are presented starkly featuring show-stopping performances by the devoutly inspired man with his guitar. Continue reading

Jonathan Butler – Grace and Mercy

A life well lived is often the best foundation for compelling art and there’s no denying Jonathan Butler has been blessed with a fascinating life. A South African native whose expansive musical gift has earned accolades in the R&B, contemporary jazz and gospel fields, Butler’s new release Grace and Mercy is filled with the soulful sounds and insightful lyrics fans have come to expect from the veteran performer.

A key word in Butler’s life is balance and after years of touring the globe, he’s learned just how important time away from the spotlight can be. “These days I try to do a little bit of living in between. I balance my life,” he shares. “I’ve got to spend time living, and through living you come up with stories to talk about and songs to write. These songs are personal experiences. People always assume that because you’re a recording artist and you travel the world that you don’t have problems and you don’t have disappointments in your life, which is not true. We all do. This album truthfully and honestly lets people know that the songs that I’m writing are the things that I’m going through in this season. I’m hoping those songs will effect people in a positive and wonderful way.”

On Grace and Mercy Butler delivers a collection of songs that serve as a soothing musical balm in today’s troubled times. “This album really speaks about optimism, faith, belief and hope, especially in the light of what everybody has been experiencing in the last two or three years,” he says. “There’s been a lot of people losing their homes, their jobs, enduring the challenges that life brings. I’m hoping this album will bring hope to people. Songs like ‘Give it Up To God,’ ‘I Stand On Your Word,’ and ‘Who is Like the Lord’ were written from experiences that I’ve had to go through myself.” The lead single, “I Stand On Your Word,” is a soaring ballad that reminds us of the power of God’s promises. “I love that song,” Butler says. “I hope that it hits home to a lot of people.”

The Wayman Tisdale Story

Rendezvous Music/Mack Avenue released The Wayman Tisdale Story on DVD and CD on November 22, 2011. The documentary celebrates the life of Wayman, a three-time All-American, Gold Medal Olympian, former NBA star and world renowned jazz musician, who lost his battle with cancer on May 15, 2009.

The DVD features interviews with Wayman and his family, Michael Jordan, Toby Keith, Marcus Miller and Dave Koz, among others. The CD includes the previously unreleased track “Slam Dunk”, produced by Jeff Lorber and “Cryin’ For Me”, a song written and performed as a tribute to Wayman by Toby Keith.

An award winning feature-length documentary and accompanying 13 track CD celebrating the life and legacy of Wayman Tisdale, a three-time All-American, Gold Medal Olympian, former NBA star, and world renowned jazz musician. Featuring Wayman Tisdale’s final interviews prior to his passing in 2009 as well as exclusive interviews with Michael Jordan, Dave Koz, Toby Keith, Marcus Miller, A.C. Green, and Jonathan Butler.

For more information visit http://www.thewaymantisdalestory.com/.

Jonathan Butler – So Strong

He is a guitarist, he is a vocalist, but foremost he is the lively personification of joie de vivre. I had the opportunity to attend his performance at Warren Hill’s Smooth Jazz cruise in 2005. When Jonathan Butler goes onstage, he mesmerizes the audience with his incredible voice. his fantastic presence and his charismatic attitude.

He became popular with his huge hits Lies, Sarah, Sarah or More Than Friends. Fostering his popularity with numerous concerts in Europe, South Africa and the US he still maintains the status of a superstar.

His new album So Strong is his 15th solo collection, offering a bouquet of fourteen compelling songs. “You can’t keep your head down all the time. You have to celebrate. With all that’s presently going on in the world, I felt the need to give something to the fans, to offer hope. I had to get to that fun place again. The album is a departure; it’s optimistic and positive. It’s get up-and-dance, and feel good. It’s all about just letting go. It’s about fun with flavor and a lot of feeling. I call it the three Fs: fun, flavor and feeling,” chuckles Jonathan.

Jonathan Butler produced and arranged the album, played most of the instruments, including guitars, bass and keyboards and brought in his friends Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Michael Lington, and Gordon Campbell. Butler’s daughters Randy and Jodie sing background vocals.

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