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Bett Butler

Born: January    Primary Instrument: Piano

Bett Butler

A multi-faceted and eclectic song interpreter who counts Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, Etta James, and Tanya Maria among her influences, award-winning singer/songwriter/pianist Bett Butler authored two critically-acclaimed albums of original music: SHORT STORIES, which earned a “recommended” rating from All Music Guide; and MYTHS & FABLES, winner of a performance grant from the Artist Foundation. She recently released AMERICAN SAMPLER, her first recorded collection of standards, which “breathes new life into old songs with fresh arrangements and a flair for the exotic” (KUT Radio host Jay Trachtenburg, Austin Chronicle) and features “what might well be the most honest, haunting and intense version of ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’ committed to CD.” (Jim Beal, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS). “Never has the song been recorded with such tension and edge,” writes Enrique Lopetegui of THE CURRENT....
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Awards:

"When Love Has Left the Room" 1st Place, Jazz Category, 2006 International Songwriting Competition; Performance Grant, San Antonio Artist Foundation; Fred Weiss Memorial Grant for Professional Development,Texas Music Coalition; San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame; Artist of the Month, City of San Antonio.
“Butler is a unique package....Her voice, a smooth, slightly husky alto that can slide up to thrilling high notes, has a comfortable, soothing timbre; but she changes attitudes from song to song with the facility of a trained actor, striking a balance somewhere between the silken elegance of Norah Jones and the edginess of Patricia Barber....I marveled at the spell this singer could weave...recalling similar moments listening to Billie Holiday, Betty Carter, Laura Nyro and Joni Mitchell. Bett Butler brought me to that place where music can salve the deepest wound, mend the heart most broken.-- John Swenson, United Press International

“As made clear on 'When Love Has Left the Room' from the new 'Myths & Fables' CD, this San Antonio singer/pianist is a true artist....Her forte is creating rich story songs fluttering over a South American/South Philly soundscape we have to call jazz because the right word hasn't been invented.-- Micael Corcoran, Austin American Statesman

“Visiting Texas jazz vocalist shining star Bett Butler does the seemingly impossible: incorporate traits of Ella and Billie and the same time; Fitzgerald’s flowing grace and cadence with a bit of Holiday’s smoky husk.--Austin.com

“Don’t expect “lite jazz” here. The Houston-bred Bett Butler’s voice is sometimes hoarse and downright growly, but that’s usually the prelude for an unexpectedly soothing wail or a left- field, smirky stage whisper. She makes spontaneous, thrilling, but unflashy vocal choices based on the material, which she has usually written herself or with her partner Dilley....In its most acid moments, Butler’s voice recalls the late-career performances of jazz great Annie Ross in Robert Altman’s sprawling flick “Short Cuts.” For the most part, though, Butler is warmer, fuller, and more agile in her phrasing of a lyric. Miss this Texas vocal powerhouse at your peril.--Jimmy Fowler, Fort Worth Weekly

As a Leader
American Sampler
Dragon Lady Records
2012
Tracks: My Melancholy Baby; The Song Is You; Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?; I Got Rhythm; Witchcraft; Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye; Come Rain Or Come Shine; Say It Isn’t So; Over The Rainbow; Some Other Time.
Personnel: Bett Butler: piano, vocals. Joel Dilley: bass, producer.

Myths & Fables
Dragon Lady Records
2007
Tracks: For Gabriele; When Love Has Left The Room; Wish I Were in Love Again; Secrets; Angel In A Dog Suit; Cold Front; Nothin' To Be Proud Of; Bitter Dawn; It Ain't Over 'til Its Over; Recuerdos; Grim Fairy Tale; Something You Said.
Personnel: Bett Butler: piano, vocals. Cecil R. Carter: trumpet, piano, flugelhorn. Joel Dilley: bass, producer. tbow Gonzales: percussion. Polly Harrison: guitar. Lloyd Herrman: drums. Richard Oppenheim: alto saxophone. Jartse Tuominen: guitar. Gib Wharton: Melobar electric slide guitar.

Short Stories
Dragon Lady Records
2000
Tracks: Bubba's Inconvenience Store; Let's Talk It Over; Tell Me What It Is; A Hundred Tears From Now; I Saw You On the Street Today; Swear It On the Bible; Angels; How Special Are the Few; Down So Long; Do It Right; Butterfly.
Personnel: Bett Butler: piano, vocals. Louie Bustos: saxophone. Cecil Carter: flugelhorn. Richard Diaz de Leon: guitar. Joel Dilley: bass, producer. Richard Garcia: saxophone. Al Gomez: trumpet, horn arrangements. Tight Jeans McKinney: guitar. Junior Medina: drums. Gib Wharton: guitar, steel guitar.

As A Side Musician
A New World
Joël Dilley
Dragon Lady Records
2011
Bett Butler: keyboards, vocals.

Boleros
Trio Azul
Dragon Lady Records
2010
Bett Butler: keyboards, vocals.

River of Hope
Joël Dilley
Dragon Lady Records
1998
Bett Butler: keyboards, vocals.

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