Click to view more about each event:
SMOOTH CRUISE: Jonathan Butler The Spirit of New York, Pier 61 @ Chelsea Piers, 2 Cruises
TICKETS - $55
OR BY CALLING 866-211-3812
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 6:30PM
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:30PM
New York’s premier summer jazz series returns!
Join us in celebrating the Smooth Cruises’ 14th year aboard The Spirit of New York, located at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers (23rd St & West Side Hwy). Experience this one-of-a-kind LIVE JAZZ concert series as you cruise down the Hudson River taking in fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty and the breathtaking Manhattan skyline.
This summer will feature ten of the world’s greatest jazz acts in an intimate setting, every Wednesday evening beginning June 29th and ending August 31st with your choice of 2 Shows at 6:30pm & 9:30pm.
The Smooth Cruises sell out quickly, so get your tickets today!
Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Jonathan Butler spent his youth under the shroud of apartheid, and official government policy of political, legal, and economic discrimination against non-whites. His escape was music.
The youngest of twelve children, he began singing publicly in South African townships at the tender age of seven. Not yet in his teens, Butler’s talents as a singer and guitarist were recognized and he soon found himself touring his poverty stricken country in a traveling variety show. In his travels, the young entertainer could neither comprehend the extreme destitute nor the harsh treatment he endured and bared witness to under the reign of Apartheid. Afrikaans was his native tongue, but he learned English on the road.
After signing his first record deal as a teenager with British record producer Clive Caulder’s Jive Records, Jonathan’s premier single made him the first by a black artist to be played on white South African radio stations. The single won a Sarie Award, the South African equivalent to a Grammy award. His self-titled debut album also put him on the map internationally and garnered two Grammy nominations; one for the R&B-pop vocal statement “Lies” and the other for “Going Home,” a poignant instrumental.
Butler’s 2005 album, entitled simply Jonathan is both rich in content and joyous in emotion. Though his musical abilities were able to take him away from the world he grew up in, Jonathan will neither forget the plight of his fellow South Africans nor the man who ultimately led them to freedom. “Mandela Bay,” the second track on Jonathan, is a lively instrumental tribute to the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Tributes of Jonathan’s past continue on the album, as all the songs are tinged with world music sensibilities, relics of his childhood in Africa.
Other recent releases include Gospel Goes Classical in 2006 with Juanita Bynum, Brand New Day in 2007, and his latest, So Strong in 2010. His most recent album touches on his prior year with the loss of his mother as well as of one of his closest friends (Wayman Tisdale), and his support of his wife Barenese in her battle against cancer. Referring to So Strong, the talented artist noted, “It’s been a tough year. It’s been trying and challenging, but we’re still standing.” A testimony to his uplifting and inspirational spirit.
Catch Jonathan Butler’s heartfelt music for our season kick off on Wednesday, June 29th aboard the intimate Smooth Cruise setting!