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Belmont Agency>>Jazz & Cabaret Artists>>LaVerne Butler

LAVERNE BUTLER
LaVerne Butler

"The most important element in my recordings is the concept of the entire project. It's not always about the voice, but rather all the other components working with the voice that form a single, musical sound."

LaVerne Butler's earliest experiences in understanding the importance of "musical sound" go back to her childhood in Louisiana. "My father exposed me to a great deal of music as a child. One important thing I learned from him was how to listen to what all the instruments were doing in a band."

Appropriately, LaVerne began to seriously develop her talent as a jazz vocalist in The Birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans, while attending the University of New Orleans for her major in Education. "Dixieland jazz was the first type of music I sang as a professional vocalist. But it wasn't where my roots were in music. As a child, I grew up listening to a lot of Swing and Bebop." In New Orleans, she worked the major jazz venues and was a regular feature artist at the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival. But she knew she could not reach her full potential until she tackled The Big Apple.

After meeting jazz master Jon Hendricks at a jazz fest in early 1983, LaVerne decided it was time to move North.

"Jon was one of several vocal masters that inspired me to take more risks as a jazz vocalist. He also encouraged me to always use acoustic instruments in my band."

Since her move to New York in 1984, LaVerne has toured Europe and Asia many times as a featured vocalist for various festivals and club dates including France, Denmark, Finland, England and Japan. With each musical experience, LaVerne began to shape and mold her own personal style.

In 1992, LaVerne signed her first record deal with Chesky Records in New York City. And in 1993 she released her first solo jazz album, titled No Looking Back, which is, according to Jazziz Magazine, "a bebopper's delight." However with her second release, Day Dreamin, LaVerne was able to explore another jazz 'sound' which she credits to such singers as Nancy Wilson. "Nancy is probably my biggest influence to date." But LaVerne insists she does not tend to become typecast. "Jazz is what I do best, and it is what I love to do. But I believe it can also vary in sound, mood and most importantly, in musical approach. I have so much music I want to compose and record. If I can create my own unique style by writing and singing fresh material, then it's just another feather in my cap."

INTERNATIONAL ENGAGEMENTS
New York Bar, Park Hyatt Tokyo
Grand Hyatt Shanghai
Blu Nightclub, Shangri-La Singapore Hotel
Shangri-La Hong Kong Hotel
Shangri-La Jakarta Hotel
Kempinski Hotel, Istanbul

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