Butch Thomas

Another great musician moves to Florida

Musicians stream into Florida from all over the world looking for beautiful beaches and sunshine. Such was the case for Butch Thomas, a saxophonist, composer and heavy hitter in the global music industry who moved from England to Gulfport four years ago.

Born and raised in St Louis, Missouri, Butch graduated from Webster University and then left for New York City, where he began working with the legendary Jaco Pastorius, an artist best known for his work with the legendary jazz fusion group Weather Report. Jaco greatly expanded the role and technique of bass playing, but his life ended tragically at an early age. Butch is featured on Jaco’s recordings, "Promised Land," “Punk Jazz” and “NYC Jam.”

Soon after his work with Jaco, Butch performed with The Temptations, Thomas Dolby, Dave Valentin and Lenny Kravitz. His eclectic roster also includes The College Boyz, The Cult, Tyrone Davis, Queen Latifah and the rock group Living Colour.

Through a referral, a call came for Butch from superstar singer/guitarist Sting, with whom Butch toured extensively in 1996 and ‘97, including a Rome center city event with an audience of nearly 200,000 people.

It was through appearances with Sting that Butch began working with James Taylor, Elton John, Diana Ross, Vanessa Paradis, and landed a feature spot on Aretha Franklin’s 1998 hit song “A Rose Is Still A Rose.”

Butch is also committed to education, and is working this summer with Frank William’s jazz students at the Hoffmann Institute Summer Jazz Camp.

Periodically Butch flies out to NYC, Las Vegas and the West Coast for concerts, but also stays active with Pinellas County area musicians such as Gumbi Ortiz, Katt Hefner and Kenny Walker.

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David Manson