Shannon Butcher

Shannon Butcher

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN
BandJazzPop

Expanding the jazz songbook through original pop/folk infused material and unique vocal arrangements of contemporary hits.

Biography

Shannon Butcher is quickly becoming a favourite with the Canadian media for her dynamic voice and fresh jazz style. Her fans adore her and so do her musicians who are among the finest players in Canadian jazz today. "Jazz isn’t about one label or style; it’s not about one person or time," says Butcher. "It’s about the freedom to bring together all of your experiences; sing in the moment and honestly connect with your audience."

Little Hearts is the companion album to her debut release, Words We Both Could Say, which itself landed in iTunes' top ten for Best Vocal Jazz Album and Best New Jazz Artist in 2008. Little Hearts' re- arrangements of recognizable Canadian tracks like Glass Tiger’s Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone and Bryan Adams' Run To You stand out as distinctively original Jazz versions of these Pop classics. Adams’ tune also serves as a nod to Shannon’s love of running.

The peppy cover of Lily Allen’s Smile retains the sassy vengeance Allen intended and adds an extra layer of New Orleans' styled exuberance. Walk on By, originally written for Dionne Warwick, is re-imagined as a ballad with a powerfully evocative counter melody. Celebrated 1920’s songwriter Irving Berlin’s What’ll I Do? also gets spotlighted.

The new disc also includes six original Shannon Butcher compositions. Noted Canadian jazz vocalist and pianist Michael Kaeshammer collaborates with Shannon on the duet The Last Word which was inspired by the tongue-in-cheek romantic comedies of the early 60s. The album opener Joy In My Heart
is a jazz-meets-soul arrangement inspired by the music of Stevie Wonder. Hush feels like a late-night jazz standard and features the vibraphone of Michael Davidson. (I Ain’t in the Mood for) No DJ was first performed at the Oscar Peterson tribute concert in Mississauga's Living Arts Centre and references the late pianist directly in the lyrics. Simple Love is Shannon’s ode to the elegance of the music of Burt Bacharach and the emotional simplicity that that we all crave. The country tune Better Kisser, is a quirky story referencing an event on her Grandparents’ wedding day.

Little Hearts features a stand-out cast of Canadian musicians including: Michael Shand (keys), Ross MacIntyre (bass), Mark McLean (drums), Michael Kaeshammer (piano and vocals), Rob Piltch (guitar), Daniel Stone (percussion), Michael Davidson (vibraphone), William Sperandei (trumpet & flugel), William Carn (trombone), Kelly Jefferson (sax), Marc Rogers (bass) and Karen Kosowski (glockenspiel & melodica).

Shannon Butcher is a graduate of the University of Toronto's Classical Performance program. She earned her Jazz chops early as one third of the swinging vocal trio Swing Rosie, garnering quick acclaim for their tight harmonies and high-energy performances. Throughout 2009, Shannon travelled internationally
to Chicago, San Francisco and London, England, performing as an ambassador for the city of Toronto on behalf of Tourism Toronto.

Lyrics

Joy In My Heart

Written By: Shannon Butcher

I got nothing but joy in my heart just watch as I start to reveal it
Like the rays of sun that rise in the morn there's just no way to conceal it
You may have your doubts but just trust and I know you will feel it

I got nothing but a spring in my step and I know it has kept me together
Helped me skip across patches of ice that have formed during inclement weather
Those clouds may be dark but they'll move on the wind like a feather

Take time to stop and smell the roses
It's all mine this garden full of life
So ?ne to hear the sounds around me
They're all that I need in this world

I got nothing but a song in my voice and I know it's a choice that was given
By the scores of those who came before, who have struggled and fought and forgiven
Their message was clear “Let's rejoice in this life that we're living!”

Hush

Written By: Shannon Butcher

Hush! Keep it low
I have a secret I thought you ought to know
Stop! No more lies
The veil is lifted on my pale disguise

Hush! Calm your breath
This flame between us is the life we have left
Come! Soothe my lips
Our sun no longer hides behind my eclipse

Never thought I’d be ready to let another one in
yet I feel my blood tremble underneath my skin
Now I hear my heart singing a jagged melody
and tied to you it’s never felt so free

Hush! Keep it low
I have a secret I thought you ought to know
Now is the start
I surrender to you all of my heart

Discography

Little Hearts 2010
Words We Both Could Say 2008
Sing Cool, Swing Hot (with Swing Rosie) 2005

Set List

For club appearances I usually perform 2 - 3 sets of about 50 minutes in length. For a festival or concert spot I can tailor my set to fit the given schedule. My repertoire consists of my jazz arrangements of pop songs, jazz and latin standards, and original songs.

A typical 50 - 60 minute set list follows:

Mad World - Tears for Fears (Arr. S Butcher)
Here, There and Everywhere - The Beatles (Arr. S Butcher & M Rogers)
No DJ - Shannon Butcher
It Might As Well Be Spring - Rodgers & Hammerstein (Arr. S Butcher)
Just A Girl - No Doubt (Arr. S Butcher)
Wichita Lineman - Webb (Arr. S Butcher)
Walking After Midnight - D. Hecht (Arr. S Butcher & R MacIntyre)
Cloudburst - Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
Don't Talk - B. Wilson (Arr. M Rogers)
Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Ellington