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Jacqui Hairston

Jacqui Hairston

In Loving Memory
Jacqui Hairston's Brother

Dr. George T. Butler
Remembering Dr. George T. Butler

George Butler was a prominent jazz record executive for the Columbia/SONY, Blue Note and United Artists labels from the late 1960’s to the late 1990’s. He died on April 9, 2008, in Castro Valley, Calif., at the age of 76.

The Chicago Tribune called Dr. Butler “the most powerful force in jazz,” and the New York Times recognized him as a primary force in jazz music’s “Young Lion” movement of the 1980’s. It was Butler’s vision that made Columbia Records a nexus for the young lions, and it was Butler himself who was instrumental in signing Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Kent and Marlon Jordan, Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison.

In the years Dr. Butler worked for Blue Note Records, he oversaw albums by such jazz legends as Horace Silver, Donald Byrd, Elvin Jones and Bobby Hutcherson. He also worked on developing commercial avenues for the music with fusion artists like Donald Byrd, Earl Klugh and Ronnie Laws.

Over the course of his career, Butler received an impressive sixty-six gold and platinum records and won eighteen Grammy Awards with such artists as Miles Davis, Nancy Wilson, Harry Connick, Jr., and Wynton Marsalis.

In addition to his sister, Ms. Jacqueline Hairston of Hayward, California, Mr. Butler is survived by his daughter, Bethany Butler of Manhattan.

Wynton Marsalis stated, "George Butler worked very hard to help create quality music and strongly believed in music education. He was engaged with the music and with musicians. He had eclectic tastes and embraced a philosophy that accommodated all different types of people and styles of music."

Jet Magazine – May 5, 2008

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