Igor Butman is a jazz saxophonist, top-ranked saxophone virtuoso, a skilled bandleader, club owner and television host. He was born in 1961 in Leningrad and started playing the clarinet at the age of 11. In 1976, Igor entered the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music, where during his second year he dropped the classical clarinet for the jazz saxophone. In 1983, Butman played in Oleg Lundstrem`s big band, afterwards he was invited by Nick Levinovsky to join the jazz group “Allegro” and played with him for three years. After his immigration to the USA in 1987, he entered Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts and was invited to play with touring American musicians, including Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, Louis Bellson and Grover Washington Jr. Igor appeared as Grover’s special guest in concerts at Chautauqua, New York, the Berklee Center in Boston and at Great Woods Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts. He is featured on Grover Washington Jr.’s Columbia release Then and Now (1988) soloing in “Stolen Moments”, “Stella By Starlight” and Igor’s own composition “French Connections”. Moving to New York in 1989, Butman worked with The Lionel Hampton Orchestra. In 1992, Igor recorded with actor/musician Michael Moriarty’s Quintet the album Live at the Fat Tuesday’s on DRG Records. When Wynton Marsalis performed in Russia in 1998, he invited Butman to be a guest soloist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
Igor Butman is notable not only for his instrumental mastery as a soloist, great stage presence, horn control and emotion, but also for his collaboration with major orchestras, including the “Moscow Virtuosi” chamber orchestra. In addition to his work as a musician, Butman is an artistic director at Le Club, Moscow’s top jazz venue, and owner of his own jazz label “Butman Music”.