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by Beryl Segers
Jonathan Butler made a name for himself in the U.S. with his self-titled album, Jonathan Butler, back in 1987. Twenty four years later, he is a Grammy nominated guitarist and singer who sings and plays across many genres, including contemporary jazz, R&B, gospel and adult pop. Through it all, he has remained true to his musical and cultural heritage, weaving the rhythms of his native South Africa into his music. Since the apartheid system officially ended and was replaced by a democracy in 1994, Jonathan Butler was free to return to his homeland, after many, many years, and make music.

Cape Town born singer-guitarist-songwriter-producer, Jonathan Butler is known for achieving chart topping success, Grammy nominations and other accolades for his contemporary jazz, R&B, adult pop and gospel albums. Butler was born and raised during South Africa's Apartheid era where he started singing and playing acoustic guitar as a child. Racial segregation and poverty has been the subject of many of his records.

Butler's first single became the first recording by a black artist to play on the all white radio stations in the racially segregated South Africa. This earned him the highest , South African music award.

The shows will feature Jonathan in a unique setting providing intimate behind the music stories about his hit songs and also classic gems, performing all the songs you have grown to love. The audience will be treated to a special evening where Jonathan will tell stories about his music, writing experiences and memories growing up in South Africa and eventually settling in Los Angeles.

“Music is spiritual and it heals. It soothes the heart and mind”, Jonathan Butler.

Jonathan began touring at the age of seven when he joined a traveling stage show, and was later signed up to perform on a string of hit recordings, turning him into a local teen idol. In 1978 he found the inspiration and encouragement to begin expressing himself as a composer and songwriter when he joined Cape Town's best known jazz/rock outfit, Pacific Express. Two albums were recorded with the band some Pacific Express songs were later released on the 1988 7th Avenue album.

Butler was signed to Jive Records in 1977, and in the early 1980s he moved to the United Kingdom where he remained for seventeen years. His international breakthrough came in 1987 with his Grammy nominated hit single, "Lies" and his cover version of the Staple Singers song "If You're Ready (Come Go with Me)", which he performed with Ruby Turner. Butler maintained a loyal following in the 1980s and 1990s, in South Africa, the United States and Europe.

Butler is currently based in Los Angeles and is a regular on the Dave Koz international jazz cruises featuring artists like George Benson, Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum and a host of others.

Please view this live performance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPYcVboDNJ4
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Posted by Beryl Segers
13 Feb 2012

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