Jazz Gallery
Soul / Gospel & World gallery
Essential Listening
Gig Guide / News
Opinion / Music Talk
The Hi Fi Experience
Related services
Related Sites & Info
Staff Profiles
Guest Feedback
Contact M V Studio
Back to Home Page




Jonathon Butler

Jonathon Butler

Jonathon Butler
@ Pigeon Island, St. Lucia Jazz Festival
9 May 2008

Click an image to enlarge.

"...One of the most underrated musicians on the planet. I discovered the beauty of Butler's musicianship quite late... better late than never! My music collection will never be complete, but I am so pleased to have Jonathon Butler’s music as part of it…"


Jonathon Butler was born October 1961. He found music as one way of escaping the economic discrimination and oppression, which plagued his native Cape Town South Africa. The youngest of twelve children, he found the courage and certainly had the talent to begin singing publicly at the tender age of seven. Butler absorbed music from around the globe from artists such as the jazz / R&B /guitarist – singer George Benson, composer – singer and humanitarian Miriam Makeba and Stevie Wonder.

Butler’s talents would not stay secret for too long. In 1977 British producer Clive Caulder signed the thirteen-year-old Butler to Jive Records (Caulder’s own company). Though Jive records headquarters were in England, Butler’s strong presence in South Africa was confirmed by being the first black artist to have their song played by white radio stations. This landmark single also earned him a Sarie Award (South Africa’s equivalent to the Grammys).

Butler moved to England in the 1980’s to assist in his companies’ focus on his career. This would soon prove fruitful, as his debut self-titled debut album was a commercial success - and Butler was Grammy nomination for the hit single “Lies”.

Butler remained in England for seventeen years. He confirms that he “came to the West to seek artistic freedom to be able to express himself”. His free flowing artistic gift has brought many admirers from both fans and established musicians. To date he has collaborated with the likes of Rachelle Ferrell, Will Downing and Lee Ritenour to name a few.

Album reviews

I had not given Jonathon Butler much thought after the huge commercial success of “Lies” in the early 1990’s, but after listening to the colourful - sunshine filled “Do You Love Me” album released in 1997, it was obvious that I had dealt this man a great injustice – and it was ‘ME’ who had missed out! I realised it was time to rectify this situation and explore his earlier material. I was not disappointed. Both “The Source” and “Story Of Life” contain mainly vocal led compositions and ballads drenched in J B’s own personal, positive heart-warming energy.

Though I can feel the pain and frustration of township life through J B’s vocals and guitar. I cannot help but become enthralled with his sumptuous soulful compositions - and admire his optimism. Whether he is sharing his stories through rich, heart-wrenching ballads such as
“Lost To Love” (from the album “Do You Love Me”), or celebrating the success of love and relationships with compositions such as “Anniversary” (from “The Source”) J B’s ability to naturally blend his own unique warmth with lyrical beauty is inspiring.

J B’s gift does not stop there. He can also drive forward lively, rhythmic, inspirational instrumentals. Take a listen to “Dancing On the Shore” (from the album “Do You Love Me”), or “Mandela Way”,
(taken from his latest offering “Jonathon”). Both these infectious worldly, upbeat compositions raise my heart rate and send a shiver down my spine.

Because J B is able to communicate so much feeling through his music, almost as if he is a man who ‘wears his heart on his sleeve’. You really do feel that you get a sense of the man, his past – and a peek into his optimistic future.

‘Feast your ears’ on Jonathon Butler’s dream and love of life. He conveys his message in such a unique and articulate way. Like me – you will wonder why this man has not received the worldwide recognition he truly deserves.

Robin Francis
9 January 2006
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.

Jonathon Butler

Jonathon Butler

Jonathon Butler

Jonathon Butler



Jonathon Do you love me
A twist of marley - various artists Story Of Life The Source

For JB tour information click the link below

Further Recommended

  Click Rachelle Ferrell's album to view her photographs and read her review.
Click Will Downing's album to read his biography and album reviews.

Rachelle_Ferrell - Individuality  (click to go to her page) Will Downing - A Dream Fulfilled  (page to be updated)

Go back to the St. Lucia Jazz Festival 2008 home page.

 Go back to the soul gallery.

[ Top ]