“I love Igor Butman’s playing and I love him person- ally. He has a great feeling for the music and for people and he’s a phenomenal musician.”
World famous saxophone player, bandleader and producer Igor Butman enjoys one of the most successful and flamboyant careers in the history of modern jazz.
An Olympic Ambassador and a top advocate of Russian art in the world, Butman leads the Moscow Jazz Orchestra and the Igor Butman Quintet. Their intensive schedule includes frequent US tours and performances at the biggest international jazz festivals all over the world. Igor’s orchestra, described by DownBeat Magazine as “an outfit of virtuosos,”, recently performed at Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, Jazz à Juan in France, Wigan Jazz Festival in U.K., Jarasum Jazz Festival in South Korea, World Jazz Festival in Latvia, and at the Syracuse Jazz Fest in the U.S.) In a recent review of the Umbria Jazz Festival, DownBeat Magazine compared the Orchestra to the three finest jazz big bands of all time: “The Igor Butman Big Band… offered a 90-minute set that displayed their mastery of post-Dizzy Gillespie jazz orchestra language, rendering both bright numbers and ballads with the precision, flair and swing of the Atomic-era Basie Band on steroids and a “We will crush you” attitude reminiscent of the better editions of the Buddy Rich Orchestra…”
Igor Butman released more than 10 albums both as a leader and co-leader, including “Magic Land” (Sony Classical) with Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, John Patitucci, Stefon Harris and Randy Brecker, which went gold in Russia and became a bestseller in the USA and Germany. In 2016, Criss Cross Jazz released “Reflections” by Igor Butman—Conrad Herwig Sextet featuring Alex Sipiagin, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Dave Kikoski and Kenny Davis.
As a producer, Igor runs eleven high-profile international jazz festivals—including Triumph of Jazz in Moscow and St. Petersburg (since 2000,) Sochi Jazz Festival in Sochi (since 2004) and World Jazz Festival in Riga, Latvia, which is held annually since July, 2014. The saxophonist owns Igor Butman Jazz Club in Moscow, which in the last 15 years is included annually in the top 150 best jazz clubs of the world by Downbeat magazine. In 2013, Igor Butman and Wynton Marsalis received The American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation’s (ARCCF) Award Wynton Marsalis in recognition of their distinguished contributions to American-Russian cultural relations. In 2016, Igor Butman was elected the President of the Author’s Council at the Russian Authors’ Society (Russian equivalent of ASCAP, SACEM or GEMA). In 2018 he, along with Herbie Hancock, became the artistic co-director of the International Jazz Day celebration in St Petersburg.