BJW Blog 10/5/2020 – John T. Butler Live Online 10/6/2020


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10/6/20 – Featured Artist: John T. Butler (w/ Sam Sands)!

Tuesday, October 6, Bakersfield Jazz Workshop will host another exciting live online event, with jazz music by  singer/guitarist John T. Butler (w/ Sam Sands on percussion). John has been a long-time participant and supporter of BJW and currently serves on the Board of Directors. 

 This is the third in our series of BJW online live streaming concerts, which will continue every Tuesday until we can safely resume our live in-person workshops.

Artist statement…

I am a singer/songwriter and guitarist.  I also play the piano and bass.  My family has been musicians, singers, and dancers for the last five generations.  My Mom taught us how to sing to keep us busy on trips when I was about 7 and music has been almost a daily part of my life since that time.  We had a family gospel group that performed off and on for almost 20 years in the area I grew up in.  I took piano lessons at 11 or 12, but only for about 3 months.  I became a member of the glee club in High School and stayed with it for three years.  When I was 18 and in the Air Force, a friend of mine named Joe De Long, taught me my first guitar chords and helped me find my first guitar.  I started as a self-taught guitarist, but I finally connected with a teacher through the Jazz Workshop (Paul Cierley) and he has helped me to improve quite a bit.  After I damaged my left hand at age 27, I used guitar scales and chord progression exercises to restore the health of that hand (guitar therapy, “…Music is a healer…”).  I have been in vocal groups (R&B cover groups, glee, gospel choirs), sung solos at church, in one theater production, and been a guitarist and singer for Blues cover bands, Classic Rock Bands, and R & B groups for over 50 years.

Currently, Vice-President and Jam Master for the Kern River Blues Society, I also serve on the Board of Directors of The Bakersfield Jazz Workshop and occasionally substitute for Jam Master at the Jazz Workshop.

I play and sing with The Red River Blues Project and play solo/duo events with Sam Sands.

On October 14th, 2017, I won the Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society’s “Road To Memphis”, a Battle of the Blues Bands, as a solo/duo artist.  This was a regional qualifier for the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, which was held January 16-18, 2018.  I had a great time, although I didn’t win a thing!

Join us this Tuesday, 10/6/20, at 7:30 pm, by visiting our Facebook page at

Important message from our BJW Financial Officer

HEY, Bakersfield Jazz Workshop fans and supporters!!!

BJW will soon celebrate our 14th anniversary and, despite current events, we hope to bring Tuesday nights back to you very soon. BUT, we need to talk about that a bit. As you know, for many years, BJW has given out music scholarships for aspiring Jazz artists. The funds for that come almost exclusively from the Tuesday night Tip Jar. This WICKED Virus has put BJW and all of you on the sidelines. For many, it has created significant physical, emotional and fiscal hardships.

I am, however, one of the lucky ones and other than missing ya’ll and my other peeps , I’ve been relatively unscathed. SO, I have a plan to help fill the Tip Jar for all the weeks C-19 stole from us.

I will match aggregate contributions to the BJW, (up to a total of $500) that are received from May 5, 2020 thru the Monday prior to our next Tuesday Night event. You can either make the contributions thru our BJW website Paypal button (, or you can write a check to Bakersfield Jazz Workshop and mail it to my address (Mark Hall, 6901 Lassalette Drive, 93308). I am the Financial Officer of the BJW.

My $500 and your aggregate support of $500 would cover about half of what we would have expected from the Tip Jar. I think we can do better. Keep the Jazz Ball Rolling.

Mark Hall

(Remember, our motto here at BJW is “Hear it! Learn it! Play it!” Keep in touch, stay safe, and we’ll see you soon!)

(Important announcement: Because of concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Bakersfield Jazz Workshop is temporarily suspended, until further notice. We will monitor guidance from health officials week-to-week and base our decision of when to resume on their recommendations. Although this is disappointing for our musicians and jazz lovers, we are erring on the side of caution, and will keep you posted, via email, Twitter and Facebook, as this situation develops.)

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