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A superstar of smooth jazz with a multitude of musical talents.
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 Living My Dream provides an honest and revealing soulfully-inspired songbook probing the artist’s life and loves: God, family and his homeland.
His first guitar was handcrafted for him by his father, who was also a guitar and banjo player; his fingers had to avoid all the nails that held it together. From the time he was three, he was playing music to support his family, and by seven he was out on tour, performing and staying in a tent with a group of local families who formed a road show band called the Golden City Dixies.
Butler signed his first record deal as a teen and became the first black artist played on white South African stations. That was 1974 and it was a song titled Please Stay, Butler recalls of the historic tune, which won a Sarie Award, the South African equivalent of a Grammy.
Butler has toured the world with such acclaimed artists as Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz and Ruby Turner. He’s earned Grammy nominations and rave reviews in the jazz and R&B fields.
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