The hottest jazz orchestra of Russia and one of the best in the world. Sixteen splendid jazz musicians. It’s all about Igor Butman Orchestra, which was founded in 1999 by world famous saxophone player Igor Butman. Since then Big Band has frequently toured Russia, Europe, and the USA, appearing at the world’s most prestigious jazz venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, “Birdland” and others.In 2012 Igor Butman Orchestra became Moscow state jazz orchestra conducted by Igor Butman. A special collaboration between Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra led by Wynton Marsalis and Igor Butman Big Band which opened 2003-04 season at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York in September 2003 caused a sensation in the whole jazz world! New music by both bandleaders and arrangements of Russian folk songs concerts were premiered by two big bands. The New York Times called the performance of Igor Butman Big Band “a show of great competence and fluency.”
The first Big Band’s album “eternal Triangle” featuring Randy Brecker was recorded in Moscow in August 2003 and engineered by the best American jazz sound engineer James Farber in November 2003 in New York. “Eternal Triangle” set a very high level of performance and quality of sound for all Russian jazz. The proof for this is that many US jazz radio stations rotated the music from “Eternal Triangle” even before the album was released!
Internationally renowned jazzmen were excited by performing with Igor Butman Big Band, among them are Dee Dee Bridgewater, “New York Voices”, Kevin Mahogany, George Benson, Gino Vanelli, Wynton Marsalis, Larry Corryell, Billy Cobham, Bill Evans. Joe Lovano, Gary Burton, Toots Thielemans.
Igor Butman Big Band and a famous Russian pop star Larisa Dolina created a jazz extravaganza “Carnival of Jazz”, and toured Russia, Ukraine, Israel and the USA with this program. In 2003 a double album “Carnival of Jazz” recorded live at “Rossiya” concert hall was released. The premiere of a new program “Carnival of Jazz 2. No comments” was held in July, 2008 at Jazz at Lincoln Center within JVC jazz festival and caused a stir among jazz lovers: Rose Theatre hardly seated all comers!
Igor Butman, the leader of the Big Band, enjoys pushing the boundaries of jazz mainstream and create crossover projects. Big Band often performs with American pianist and composer Igor Raykhelson, “Grammy” winning altoist Yuri Bashmet and his chamber ensemble “Moscow soloists”. A big US tour with these remarkable musicians took place in the most celebrated venues of the country (including Seattle Symphony Hall, Wilshire Theatre, Severance Hall, Strathmore Hall, Boston Symphony Orchestra Hall etc.) in February and March 2009 and gathered non less than 20000 listeners!
In June 2009 Igor Butman Big Band’s second album “Moscow@3am” was released by a new jazz label Butman Music! On this CD the Band featuring a very special guest Wynton Marsalis plays music by an outstanding composer and pianist Nick Levinovsky! Some tracks from the CD are already played by WBGO!
In 2010 Igor Butman Orchestra featuring renowned NY jazz artists Sean Jones, Kathy Jenkins, Peter Bernstein and James Burton presented crossover program “Sheherazade’s tales” at “Cherry Forest” festival in Moscow. The program included Nikolay Levinovsky’s jazz arrangements of Russian romances and symphonic suite “Sheherazade” by N.A.Rimsky-Korsakov. It’s no surprise that such original fusion of classic and jazz music became a revelation for audience and mass media, because hardly anyone connected such polar musical worlds with such ingenuity before. Live album “Sheherazade’s tales” was released at Butman Music Records on CD (November 2011) and vynil (March 2012).
In July 2013 Moscow jazz orchestra conducted by Igor Butman did a big European tour and performed at the biggest jazz festivals including Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, Jazz a Juan in France, Wigan Jazz Festival in Great Britain. Orchestra’s US tours are scheduled for September 2013 and January 2014.
In November 2013 Butman Music released Special Opinion, a brand new sensational album by Nick Levinovsky and Igor Butman Orchestra! It was recorded at Avatar Studios in New York in January 2013 with fusion and jazz rock super stars: drummer Dave Weckl, guitarists Mike Stern and Mitch Stein, saxophone player Bill Evans, trumpeter Randy Brecker and bassist Tom Kennedy.