Oleg Butman


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Oleg Butman was born in 1966 to a family of musicians in Saint-Petersburg (Russia) absorbing jazz sound and beat from his first days. Oleg started playing the drums at the age of 8. As early as at 15 he was invited to join a famous Russian rock-group Televizor.

In 1983 Oleg entered Musorgsky music college (St.Petersburg) and became a leading drummer of the college orchestra. In his first year at college Oleg performed at St.Petersburg jazz festival Autumn Rhythm (with a band of the famous Russian sax-player Valery Zuikov). The 17-year old drummer attracted attention of David Goloshekin, a legendary Russian jazzman. During 1984 thru 1987 Oleg also performed with Igor Butman quartet and later in 1988 toured Russia with mesmerizing American sax player Richie Cole.

In1988 Oleg moved to Moscow and participated in many jazz projects featuring such American star guests as John Feddis, Billy Taylor, Groover Washington, Pat Metheny. Many concerts were hosted by the legendary Bluebird jazz club in Moscow.

In 1990 Oleg left for the US to learn jazz music first-hand. He took lessons from the best jazz instructors at Berkley College of Music (Boston, Massachusetts). Then he moved to NYC, where passionate and dynamic style of the Russian drummer was noted by New York musicians. He made it in NY and at different times was invited to play with Joe Lock, Eddie Gomez, Andy Lovern, and Ron Afiff. Open-minded and easy-to-go style brought him many music friends.

In August 1997 the first album called Nostalgia was released together with his starry brother Igor Butman by RPM Studio in NY. The album became the best selling jazz CD very quickly.

In 1998 Oleg toured Russia with a project called Four Brothers, which was an unbelievable success and another CD release followed.

In 2001 the musician came to Russia with his American quartet and outstanding tenor-sax player Craig Handy. More successful tours of Russia featuring a well-known guitar-player Mark Whitfiled, sax-player Vincent Herring and the pianist Larry Willis made Russia talk about Oleg Butman. The demand in Russia for such bright tours grew rapidly making Oleg Butman a warmly welcomed guest on the Russia jazz stage. All the recent years Oleg has kept surprising Russian jazz community with new and fresh jazz projects featuring also versatile American stars and singers.

In 2007 a new CD was recorded as a result of a long all-Russia tour with Richie Goods and Daniel Kramer. It was in 2007 when Oleg started writing music together with a talented Russian piano-player Natalia Smirnova. A new original project called Jazz Passion started off successfully and is played by Oleg Butman trio in Russia and Europe, sometimes with participation of such American special guests as Essiet Essiet (bass) and Wayne Escoffery (t.sax) and Mark Gross(alto sax)

In January 2009 in New York Oleg recorded his first solo album called "Passion".The CD includes 10 original pieces composed together with Natalia Smirnova.In summer the album will be released to the general public and followed by an all-Russia tour with all project participants.