Delta Classic Chastain Concerts at Chastain Park Amphitheater brought to you by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Promoter
Born and raised in Athlone, Cape Town, South Africa, during Apartheid, Jonathan Butler started singing and playing acoustic guitar as a child. Racial segregation and poverty during Apartheid has been the subject of many of his records. His first single was the first by a black artist played by white radio stations in the racially segregated South Africa and earned a Sarie Award, South Africa’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards. Also in 2008, Butler guest-starred on George Duke’s Album Dukey Treats, alongside the late Teena Marie on the track Sudan, talking about the disasters of Darfur.
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, but his gospel albums hold a special place in his heart. “It was always a desire that I had,” he says of recording gospel music, “but I never really wanted to do it just for the sake of it. I needed to know that God would release me to do it because it’s a ministry. It changes people’s lives and I wanted to be sure that the Lord would release me to it. I prayed about it for a long time. I waited and then when I got the confirmation, God began giving me these songs. I wrote ‘Falling In Love With Jesus’ and that opened the door for me to walk seamlessly into my ministry.”
In 1988, CDs outsold vinyl for the first time while a little known singer from Brooklyn released a self-titled debut on Island Records called Will Downing. Fast-forward to 2013, CDs have taken a backseat to MP3s but that singer from Brooklyn has withstood the test of time. Today, Will Downing, the Grammy® nominated reigning “Prince of Sophisticated Soul”, celebrates an incredible 25 years of recording excellence with his 16th album, “Silver”.
“Silver” is not a “Best of” or “Greatest Hits” collection. Silver is a personal invitation from Will Downing to his fans to jointly celebrate a quarter-century of giving his heart and soul through every song, concert and note. For loyalists that have been there from day one, it’s their Silver Anniversary.
Najee – “To stand apart and say you have your own voice is more important to me than being the player with the greatest chops. I feel I’ve been very fortunate to have grown as a musician, and to have made a statement that people can recognize and that I can say is my own.” The magical melodies and passionate phrasings that introduced a generation of music lovers to the distinctive sound of the phenomenal reedsmith Najee, will once again serenade listeners with his latest offering, Morning Tenderness, for Verve Forecast. A musical masterpiece of smooth and sensuous selections, Morning Tenderness marks a triumphant return for the best-selling instrumentalist to the contemporary jazz musical forefront. “To me, this album is a return to my audience,” Najee exclaims. “My last record, musically, was a departure for me. This is a return to traditional Najee.”
Additional Website: http://www.willdowning.com