Christopher Butcher is a musician firmly established as a representative of Toronto’s global music village, transcending genre and cultural predisposition, and pleasing audiences across the world. As a first rate trombone player, an up-and-coming record producer, a busy session musician, and co-leader of one of 2011’s most heavily buzzed new bands, The Heavyweights Brass Band, Christopher Butcher illustrates a promising portrait of an influential career in music.
Hailing from the heart of Canada’s vast prairies, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Christopher’s love of music was born of a musically diverse household, in which he got an early education from his father’s jazz record collection and his mother’s taste for classical radio. Moving to Toronto in his late teens to complete Humber College’s jazz studies program, Christopher hit the ground running, building a reputation as a first-call trombone player in the city’s vibrant jazz and world music scenes. Associations with acclaimed artists, which include Jane Bunnett, Hilario Duran, Archie Alleyne, and Jay Douglas, among others, sharpened Christopher’s leadership skills, preparing him for the next step in his career with the formation of The Heavyweights Brass Band.
The Heavyweights Brass Band begun sparring in 2009 when Christopher and four like-minded musicians committed to enacting an original musical vision. Engaging a repertoire which calls on both original music, as well as the social music of the day, the Heavyweights have created a musical gumbo which mixes traditional New Orleans jazz with ingredients such as brass band music, funk, world music, pop and blues. With songs from their debut album Don’t Bring Me Down included in heavy rotation on CBC and JAZZFM radio, word of the Heavyweights’ vibrancy has caught the ears of many, including one of the world’s most respected tastemakers, Gilles Peterson, whose compilation Havana Cultura: The Search Continues features the Heavyweights’ recording of Christopher’s original composition, Nueva Orleans featuring Ogguere.
“I am blown away by this thoroughly fresh piece of cultural collaboration. I have never heard anything like this before!” - Gilles Peterson
2012 will see Christopher Butcher make further strides in the trajectory of his rising star, with a performances across Canada and the world, two arrangements/ co-production of his featured on Mundo: The World of Jane Bunnett on EMI, sideman appearances on numerous records by Canada’s best, the celebration of a Juno nomination for a record on which he was a featured soloist (Aline Morales’ Flores, Tambores e Amores), production for several artists, and the debut full length record by Christopher Butcher as a solo artist.