John Butcher was born in Brighton, England and has lived in London since the late 1970s. His music ranges through free improvisation, various structurings, his own compositions, multitracked saxophone pieces and work with live electronics, amplification and feedback.
He has toured and broadcast in Europe, Japan, Australia and North America, and was featured, playing solo, in the BBC TV programme Date with an Artist. Compositions include pieces for Chris Burn’s Ensemble , the Austrian group Polwechsel and the American Rova Saxophone Quartet.
Butcher started playing the saxophone at Surrey University, where he was studying physics - although his first concerts were on keyboards in an ‘avant’ (for want of a better term) rock group. Hearing musicians like John Surman, Stan Tracey and Louis Moholo triggered an enthusiasm for jazz, and he started learning and playing in various small and large groups - often with pianist Chris Burn; and sometimes with his brother Phil Butcher, on double bass.