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Jonathan Butler wants the world to draw strength from Mandela's legacy

18 July 2020 12:39 PM
Tags:
Music
Nelson Mandela
Mandela Day
Jonathan Butler
tribute concert
#BlackLivesMatter
racial justice

Music icon Jonathan Butler has encouraged people to reflect on Nelson Mandela's words and legacy amid the ongoing fight for racial justice around globe.

World-renowned Cape Town-born jazz artist Jonathan Butler will be hosting an online tribute concert to mark Mandela Day.

Butler, who is based in Los Angeles, says the words and voice of Madiba are still needed today as the United States battles with systemic racism and inequality.

"I want the words of Mandela to be heard and to be felt", he tells CapeTalk host Sara-Jayne King.

There's is such deep outcry for racial equality and social justice. There aren't many leaders that we can look to and hear speak on this subject as deep as Mandela has done and what he has stood for all his life.

Jonathan Butler, musician

To celebrate Mandela Day is to let people here in America know that we still have pillars of justice and men and women like Mandela that we can still draw from.

Jonathan Butler, musician

The Grammy-nominated artist says he was deeply moved when he first discovered that Mandela had been inspired by his music during his imprisonment.

It's understood that Mandela and other political prisoners on Robben Island used music as a form or resistance and survival.

It was a very deep and touching moment for me to realise that my music was listened to. It brought hope and encouragement.

Jonathan Butler, musician

I didn't know my music reached Robben Island... There were large discussions about George Benson, Earl Klugh, myself, and different guitarists because they used to listen to music at night.

Jonathan Butler, musician

Butler first met Mandela at a tribute concert held in his honour at the Wembley Stadium in London, shortly after his release from prison in 1990.

It's a memory he says he'll never forget.

It was artists from all over the world. 100,000 people and I remember I played piano and sang a song called 'True Love Never Fails'. I was on the American stage... along with Stevie Wonder and the late Natalie Cole. It was a star-studded event.

Jonathan Butler, musician

South Africa will always be his home, the Athlone-born R&B and jazz legend adds.

Despite living abroad for three decades, he makes an effort to come back every year, and to visit Robben Island.

Every year, expect for this lockdown, I've gone home with my friends and guests and taken them to Robben Island.

Jonathan Butler, musician

Listen to the legendary artist on Weekend Breakfast with Sara-Jayne King:


18 July 2020 12:39 PM
Tags:
Music
Nelson Mandela
Mandela Day
Jonathan Butler
tribute concert
#BlackLivesMatter
racial justice

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