Buttery to perform in Kloof

2015-10-06 06:00
Guy Buttery.
 Photo: sourced

Guy Buttery. Photo: sourced

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ACCUMULATING music of all styles since a very young age, Guy Buttery is one of South Africa’s finest musios and will be performing at Open Strings in Kloof on 11 October.

Buttery was introduced to music at the age of 10 through his mother who plays the piano and his older brothers who played guitar.

In the Buttery household, the sounds of The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Dylan and Bob Marley made their way into the teenager’s songbook. Practicing hours every day on his older brothers “hand-me-down” guitar, these icons opened doorways and liberated Buttery’s spirit. During these formative years, he got an understanding of rock and folk harmonies, almost serving an apprenticeship for greater things to come.

After hearing John Paul Jones’s mandolin on Zeppelin’s, Battle of Evermore, Buttery acquired a mandolin, and with the influence of Ravi Shankar being so close to home, purchased a sitar from a local Indian music shop. At the age of 13, Buttery was introduced to classical harmony through his first guitar teacher, Leandros Stavrou. The quest for new musical boundaries was inevitable, and through friend, guitar teacher and present collaborator, Nibs van der Spuy, Buttery was introduced to finger-stylist extraordinaire, Michael Hedges. which only ignited the flame even bigger.

He then studied jazz at the KwaZulu Natal Technikon and later at the Durban School of Music to reunite with Stavrou to further his classical training. Soon after the boundaries were pushed even wider by hearing the music of Oregon, Ralph Towner, Steve Reich, Egberto Gismonti and John Coltrane, to name a few. After opening a concert in early 2001 for well-known Mozambican musician Gito Baloi and Nibs van der Spuy, both musicians were dumb-struck at the virtuosity coming from the fingers of the 17 year old. Not being able to ignore this enormous talent, it was not long before Buttery sealed a deal with South African world jazz label, Sheer Sound. His debut album When I Grow Up… was released in late 2002 to great critical acclaim. Comprising original self-written acoustic finger-style compositions, Buttery was the youngest nominee in the history of the South African Music Awards in the same year. He was nominated in “Best Instrumental Album of the Year” and “Best Newcomer for 2002” at the age of 18.

2005 saw the release of his follow-up album, Songs from the Cane Fields which was once again nominated at the Sama’s for “Best Instrumental Album”.

Four years in the making after his Songs from the Cane Fields, Buttery released Fox Hill Lane. This album not only sealed his international reputation, it made South Africa sit up and take notice as it featured the cream of local musicians and acted as a “who’s who” in the South African music scene featuring Dan Patlansky, Madala Kunene, Tony Cox, the late Syd Kitchen and Van der Spuy to contrast Buttery’s playing and compositions. It went on to win a major national award for “Best Instrumental” album of the year at the 2010 Sama’s. He also won the “Standard Bank Golden Ovation” award, chosen out of 4 600 performers at the 2010 National Arts festival in Grahamstown.

As you listen to Buttery, you can’t escape the feeling that this musician has a mind of a prophet and the musical prowess of a guru

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