Rising above the struggles, Jonathan Butler is living his dream‏

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Rising above the struggles, Butler is living his dream

Family, friends – including Marcus Miller and the late George Duke – and an “African Breeze” combine forces on “Living My Dream,” coming June 24 from the R&B-jazz artist.

Sherman Oaks, Calif. (30 April 2014): It 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.”

“It’s one of those albums that I really didn’t think I had in me. I had been struggling, going through this emotional period. Last year was a transitional period. Once I got my wind and got back to a place of focus, it turned out to be the best experience for me. I had to be vulnerable to the songs,” said Butler about the essence of “Living My Dream.” “It’s the story of my life and the newness of discovery. These really are the best years of my life.”

Butler wrote or co-wrote ten songs for “Living My Dream,” which is a balanced blend of contemporary jazz instrumentals and R&B vocal tunes. The first radio single, “African Breeze,” is a reboot of an instrumental that he wrote 30 years ago for “The Jewel of the Nile” motion picture soundtrack. It is a brisk, energetic African-hued dancer on which Butler plucks the festive melody on nylon string guitar.

A captivating and impassioned performer, Butler will help launch “Living My Dream” during a summer concert tour at which he will share the spotlight with Grammy-winning guitarist Norman Brown.

Butler takes you into the recording studio and talks about recording “Living My Dream” in his EPK, which can be viewed at http://youtu.be/UFFmGWfsKkk. For more information, please visit www.JonathanButler.com.

“Living My Dream” contains the following songs:

“African Breeze”

“Living My Dream”

“Be Still”

“Let There Be Light”

“Heart and Soul”

“Song For You”

“Catembe”

“Night To Remember”

“All About Love”

“Sweet Serenade”

“A Prayer”

THE INCOMPARABLE NICK COLIONNE

Nick Colionne has wowed his fans for years as a super talented jazz artist and thrilling entertainer. In all that he does, the driving force within him is his family and the music. Although he’s received many awards and honors, he is most impacted by the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award. As much as he loves being a musician, it is just as important–if not, more–to be known as the man behind the music and his heart. He has another passion, as well: being a mentor to children and doing charity work. I have given him the name “Pentagon,” representing 5 sides of Nick Colionne. He is a guitarist, vocalist, spirited performer, mentor, and philanthropist. Colionne commented that now he has to strive to be an octagon. While in the midst of working with children, he consistently makes music that keeps his fans longing for more. His latest album, “INFLUENCES,” is an array of songs expressing his road to rediscovery. With each new project, Nick pushes the envelope just a little bit more. He describes “INFLUENCES” as passionate, uplifting, and from his heart. During our conversation, we discovered that we both chose the same song as our favorite from “INFLUENCES”…”when you love someone.”

Nick Colionne

Nick Colionne

CHRIS GEITH

Chris Geith has been preparing for his successful career from a very young age. He grew up in a musical home and without a doubt knew that he was destined to be a musician. Throughout the years, Chris has always written music from the heart. And that music touches many lives through a vast array of outlets. It’s very likely that you’ve heard a song by Chris playing while watching TV and not known it, whether on VH-1 or Animal Planet. He is an artist that promotes himself and does all his own marketing. To his credit, he has won the hearts of fans who have given him huge success via the internet and downloads. Geith had a couple of albums such as “Island of a Thousand Dreams” and “Timeless World” that were in the top 10 bestselling Smooth Jazz albums on CD baby. For his latest project, “Chasing Rainbows,” Chris answered his fans’ request for the release of some of his music that was featured on the Weather Channel. Just as with past projects, “Chasing Rainbows” and Chris are giving fans just what they want. Chris and I have a candid discussion about his musical career:

 

Chris Geith

Chris Geith

 

 

GUITARIST BRYAN LUBECK

Bryan Lubeck feels fortunate to savor the success of “Tuscan Sky” and a whirlwind year since its release. It is safe to say that Bryan can thank a music teacher he had as a kid for teaching him how to play the guitar. After realizing that he had a knack for playing without a pick, it wasn’t long before Lubeck mastered the Spanish guitar. For years now, Lubeck’s fans have enjoyed his musical creativity and invigorating live performances. His expertise and ability to express himself through music has jazz fans falling in love with the sound of the Spanish guitar. He is still enjoying the triumph of “Tuscan Sky” and performing for fans all over. Included in the highlights to his credit: “Tuscan Sky” spent weeks in the top 40 on the Indie Smooth Jazz Charts, and the title single “Tuscan Sky” was top Billboard’s most added to radio.

Bryan and I talk about his career and what still moves him each time he performs.

Bryan Lubeck

Bryan Lubeck

 

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A meditation on Jobim in the key of jazz‏

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A meditation on Jobim in the key of jazz

 

Guitarist Les Sabler pays homage to the Brazilian legend on “Jobim Tribute” due April 8

Tampa, Florida (3 April 2014): Before Les Sabler began recording “Jobim Tribute,” which will be released April 8 on New Vista Records, the jazz guitarist-vocalist walked a mile in the shoes of the iconic Brazilian composer known for writing exquisitely poetic romantic standards that popularized bossa nova. An inspired Sabler trekked to Brazil, visited the places Jobim frequented and absorbed the native culture and sounds. He voraciously studied recordings and read stacks of books about Jobim’s life. Sagely he knew that fostering authenticity on a collection of twelve Jobim songs involved more than just playing the right notes on his nylon string guitar or mastering the pronunciation of the Portuguese lyrics. Sabler, who produced the album, recognized that the most important ingredient was to capture the soulful passion inherent in the author’s touching melodies and sensually exotic rhythms.

The timing of Sabler’s record correlates to two milestones: the 50th anniversary of the classic “Getz/Gilberto” that spawned Jobim’s No. 1 hit “The Girl from Ipanema,” which helped weave bossa nova permanently into the fabric of American music; and the 20th anniversary of Jobim’s passing. When selecting material for “Jobim Tribute,” which is comprised of seven vocal tunes and five instrumentals, Sabler challenged himself by recording some of Jobim’s lesser known gems (“Esquecendo Voce” and “Janelas Abertas”) as well as popular favorites such as “Corcovado,” “Bonita” and “Fotografia.” The first single that was just shipped to radio stations for airplay is Sabler’s rendition of “A Felicidade,” a sweeping wave of joyous melody, nifty guitar fingerplay and an ethereal vocal chorus.

Produced, arranged and performed in acoustic jazz settings, Sabler was accompanied by keyboardist Clay Perry (Julio Iglesias), acoustic bassist Byron House (Robert Plant’s Band of Joy), Brazilian drummer-percussionist Celso Alberti (Flora Purim, Stevie Winwood) and the late percussionist Joe Lala (CSNY, Bee Gees). Allon Sams scripted string arrangements as did Grammy-nominated arranger Tom Zink, who orchestrated a 4-piece string section that added emotional depth on three selections.

Sabler explained that “My first trip to Brazil guided me to a deeper understanding of Jobim’s music from the places I visited followed by an immersion of his music, videos and books. During my trip, I was able to learn a lot more about the history of Brazilian music. I explored some of the places where Jobim used to hangout, including the restaurant where Heloisa Pinhiro walked by, who was the inspiration for ‘The Girl from Ipanema.’ I am passionate about this music and made it a goal to master and record it. After working on this project for several years, I am pleased to finally share it.”   

 

“Jobim Tribute” is Sabler’s seventh album. The Montreal native who studied music at Canada’s Concordia University and at the University of Miami, has created a catalogue of finely-crafted contemporary jazz recordings that summited sales and airplay charts in the U.S. and Canada while garnering award nominations, No. 1 most-played Canadian artist airplay honors and international acclaim. Most often playing electric guitar on earlier works, “Jobim Tribute” is his second consecutive record on which he exclusively plays nylon string acoustic guitar following 2010’s “Crescent Shores.”

Earlier this week, the Tampa, Florida-based sports fan performed the American and Canadian National Anthems with Marshall Gillon on Opening Day for the Tampa Bay Rays followed the next night by performing the anthems prior to the Tampa Bay Lightning game. With the eyes of the world turning to Brazil for this year’s FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Sabler’s elegant “Jobim Tribute” is a perfectly timed soundtrack. For more information, please visit www.LesSabler.com.

Sabler’s “Jobim Tribute” contains the following songs:

“A Felicidade”

“Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)”

“Esquecendo Voce”

“Bonita”

“Brigas Niunca Mais/Discussao”

“Ligia”

“Fotografia”

“Se Todos Fossem Iguais A Voce”

“Por Causa De Voce”

“Triste”

“Janelas Abertas”

“Chega De Saudade”