This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Butler, performing in the Chrome Showroom at Santa Fe Station September 25 at 8 p.m. In this episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Jonathan talks about growing up poor while getting his sense of humor from his family; leaving South Africa to pursue his international musical career; coming to London with a less-than-solid contract; why he focused as a song writer in London; how his second album hit it big in the United States; when he performs on stage, he wants to take people on a journey; how he learned to play music by “stealing” with his eyes and ears; lessons he learned from fame; and why he wants to be accepted as a world music artist
Jonathan Butler is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who leads a life few can imagine. Born in South Africa under the shadow of apartheid and raised in poverty, Butler was the first non-white artist to be played on South African radio and appear on national television. Though his musical abilities would take him away from the world he grew up in, Jonathan would neither forget the plight of his fellow South Africans, nor the man that led them to freedom. It is for this reason Nelson Mandela credits Butler’s music as having inspired him during his imprisonment. In more ways than one, Jonathan Butler is representative of South Africa.