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Frank Butrey: Bio


     A truly exciting presence, Frank Butrey has been stirring audiences for many years with his powerful, original compositions. Frank Butrey graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Guitar Performance and Studio Teaching. He studied classical guitar under the expert tutelage of Dimitri Erdely. Frank studied jazz improvisation, composition and arranging with Basil Ronzitti, Ed Flanagan and Steve Giordano.

      While living in Erie, PA., he was the founder and president of the Erie Jazz Cooperative, which hosted several successful concert series. A fixture on the Erie scene, Frank led the Depot Street Jazz Quartet, performed with diverse ensembles such as 18 Strings (guitar trio), Reach (jazz quintet), and was featured as a guest soloist with Concourse, Basil Ronzitti, Bruce Johnstone, Floyd Williams, Mark Gridley, the Edinboro University and Allegheny College jazz bands, and many more. He was the first call guitarist for the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chautauqua Symphony. Butrey has backed artists such as Bobby Vinton, Englebert Humperdink, Marvin Hamlisch and others.

     Most notably, Mr. Butrey was the leader and chief composer/arranger for the critically acclaimed trio, Field Theory. The band included David Blaetz on bass and Rick Lopez or Matt Ferguson on drums. This dynamic trio opened for Woody Shaw, James Blood Ulmer, Suzanne Vega, Leroy Jenkins, Airto and Flora Purim, Oliver Lake, and Richie Cole. Field Theory released the recording, "Life and Times", on the Lust for Toys label. They were televised in concert for the PBS station WQLN.

     Residing in Philadelphia since 1987, Frank co-founded the jazz trio, Triception and led the quartet, Burn Unit. He currently has an active career performing at many well-known venues, concerts, jazz festivals, private affairs and other settings. Some of the venues include; The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, PA, the Bitter End, New York City, Trump Plaza, Atlantic City, NJ, Rutgers - Camden Center for the Arts, Camden, NJ, and the Jazz and Blues Festival in Erie, PA. Frank has worked with many noted musicians and is a member of Warren Oree and the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble. Regular performances with Arpeggio have included television, radio, the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival, Philadelphia Museum of Art, African American Museum in Philadelphia ,PA, The Falk Theater in Tampa, Fl, West Oak Lane Jazz Festival, Cape May Jazz Festival, Small’s jazz club and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City.

     In addition to the Field Theory recording, "Life and Times", Frank was a prominent feature on five of jazz vocalist/composer Kayle Brecher’s recordings ("Choices", "The Pride Inside", "Urban Objects", "Spy Music", Spirals and Lines" and "This Is Life"). Other recordings include Malik Al Kabir’s, "Giant", "Truth Is" by Sherry Wilson Butler, "Courage" by Nina Fletcher, "Something to Believe In" by singer/songwriter Megan LuRose and "Love and Peace on Christmas" by keyboardist Joe Patterson. Frank is featured as performer and composer on Warren Oree and the Arpeggio Jazz Ensembles CD’s, "Lifeline" and "Man Bites Dog".

     Frank is a faculty member of the Conservatory of Musical Arts in Haddonfield New Jersey. He is proud to release his new recording, "Malicious Delicious."

Frank Butrey Quartet (or Trio)


Frank Butrey Quartet or Trio

Clifton Kellem - Acoustic & Electric Bass

Clifton went to Temple University as an Education Major concentrating on the upright bass. After college he worked in the pit orchestras in Atlantic City casinos - Playboy, Resorts International and Ceasars. While working at the casinos he played for Diane Carrol, Shirley Bassey, Petula Clark and Jerry Lewis. Clifton toured South America with Billy Paul and Musiqology. He has worked with such jazz greats as John Blake and Marlena Shaw and toured the U.S. and Canada with the show "Cookin At The Cookery" (the life and times of Alberta Hunter). Currently he tours with the show "Ella" (the Ella Fitzgerald story). He also records and performs with Frank Butrey and has recorded on over 15 CD's.

Thomas Lowery - Percussionist

Percussionist Tomas Lowery has performed and recorded with a wide variety of groups. Some of his credits include R&B bands Imperial Knights, Realistics, jazz group Peridime, Denova big band (jazz), Zakir Hussain and Friends (world Percussion), Newark Samba School Amarelo e Verde and Bontuku (Ghanian), Spoken Hand.

Tom currently performs with the R&B world beat group Just Talk. Alo Brasil, Sonic Liberation, Latin Fiesta, Supa Lowery Brothers and poet Melodye Micere Van Putten. He also performs and records with Frank Butrey.

Jeffrey M Johnson - Drums

At the age of 3, Jeff began playing drums under the guidance of world renowned saxophonist Byard Lancaster. Jeff attended Combs College of Music as a percussion major where he earned his degree in music education. He has studied drums with Philly Joe Jones, Tommy Campbell and Joe LaBarbera. He has performed with Ronnie Laws, Vivian Green, Grammy nominated Sharon Katz, Peace Train, Richard Tucker, Frank Butrey and many others. Along with a busy performance schedule Jeff has been the drum instructor at Amla School of Music since 2002.