Jonathan Butler is a gifted Jazz singer who has established himself in the music industry. Born October 10, 1961, Jonathan has achieved considerable success during his career.
Butler has collaborated with saxophonists Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz and Boney James; in addition to producing several albums that combine smooth jazz with R&B and worship music.
Early Life and Education
Jonathan Butler was born in Athlone, Cape Town on October 10, 1961 and began singing and playing guitar as a child. As a result of winning a local talent competition and touring with an ensemble throughout South Africa, he experienced both poverty and wealth first-hand.
At thirteen, Butler signed with British record producer Clive Caulder’s Jive Records and launched his debut hit. It broke down racial barriers by being played on white radio stations for the first time by any black artist and earned South Africa’s equivalent to Grammy awards.
Butler contributed to Lee Ritenour’s A Twist of Marley album as part of a tribute album to Bob Marley in 2001, where he currently resides in Encino, California.
Jonathan Butler is an award-nominated Jazz, R&B, and worship musician who specializes in guitar playing as well as songwriting. Known for his 1987 Grammy Award-nominated single titled “Lies”, Jonathan has collaborated with other saxophonists such as Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, and Boney James among many others.
Butler was born October 10, 1961, in Cape Town, South Africa. As a result of living during apartheid and experiencing its oppressive policies first hand, many themes from this era appear in his songs. His debut single became the first by an African artist to be played on white South African radio stations, winning him a Sarie Award (South Africa’s equivalent of Grammy).
His activism in the anti-apartheid movement and participation in rallies led him to write protest songs; at this time, he also sang for Pacific Express (a rock and jazz band).
Achievement and Honors
Butler has gained praise for his unique fusion of R&B, jazz fusion and worship music that spans R&B, jazz fusion and worship music genres. As one of South Africa’s first black artists to be played on white radio stations and his debut single receiving a Sarie Award (South Africa’s equivalent of the Grammy).
Raised during apartheid in Cape Town, Butler began singing and playing an acoustic guitar at age six. After winning a local talent contest, he gained an audition with a musical troupe touring across South Africa; ultimately landing him a lucrative job that netted a 25 percent weekly pay increase for himself and a $25 weekly salary.
By the late ’80s, Jonathan Butler had recorded several albums for Jive Records: 7th Avenue and Jonathan Butler earned him Grammy nominations; more recently he issued two more notable records So Strong and Grace and Mercy.
Butler made history on 10 October 1961 when he became the first non-white singer whose songs were broadcasted on South African radio station, according to his website. His passion for music began early when his father presented him with a handcrafted one-string guitar; at age 12 he participated in his first local talent competition and went on tour across South Africa with musical ensemble. Additionally he performed at large concerts that were open only to white people.
Butler found solace in music as an outlet to express his deep-seated concerns over apartheid; through it all he delivered powerful messages of freedom and unity through his music. In 2015 he released the gospel-infused Free album; two years later in 2018 he released Close to You featuring new interpretations of classic tracks by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
Jonathan Kenneth Butler (born October 10, 1961) is a South African singer-guitarist-songwriter best known for his R&B, jazz fusion or worship music compositions. Butler first achieved recognition as a teenager after signing to British producer Clive Calder’s Jive Records label and releasing an instrumental debut album that earned a Sarie Award (South Africa equivalent of Grammy Awards).
Butler achieved widespread fame for his 1987 hit single, “Lies,” which reached number 10 on the US Billboard charts and garnered him Grammy selections. Additionally, Butler worked closely with saxophonists Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum and Boney James to produce groundbreaking musical collaborations.
He and Barenese Butler share three children. His life path number of 1 indicates he will work hard towards attaining his goals.