“Guy Buttery is something of a National treasure”, says South Africa’s leading newspaper, The Mercury. As an internationally recognised musician, this multi-instrumentalist enjoys invitations to play sell-out performances all over the globe. The USA, UK, Australia, France, Brazil, and Italy have all welcomed him back year after year. However, to simply label Guy Buttery as one of South Africa’s musical phenoms would be an injustice. His international role has surpassed merely performing concerts to foreign audiences. It has evolved into one as an ambassador of South African music, inspiring people across the world with his homegrown style at the very heart of his talent and tenacity. Guy’s distinct unification of South African guitar music is the musical advocate for everything positive and beautiful about the place he calls home.
At the age of 18, Guy Buttery’s debut album was nominated for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Instrumental’ at the South African Music Awards (SAMA’s) making him the youngest nominee in the history of the event. Guy then went on to collect two SAMA’s in 2010 and again in 2014. He has also received numerous other major National accolades including the Ovation Award for his live performances at the National Arts Festival and has been honoured with more of these prestigious awards than any other artist.
Guy was invited to perform his work with the 52- piece KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, dubbed ‘Africa’s greatest ensemble’ with his solo performance voted ‘Top Live Show’ by The Cape Times. He was also selected by The Mail & Guardian as one of South Africa’s eminent and accomplished young people. In 2018, Guy received the highest accolade for a musician in South Africa and was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award. In almost four decades of honouring artist throughout the country, this was the first time since its inception that the award was presented to a musician outside of the classical realm. Buttery has worked with an incredible myriad of artists including Dave Matthews, Jethro Tull, Vusi Mahlasela, multiple Grammy Award Winner Will Ackerman, Salif Keita, Preston Reed, Kaki King, The Violent Femmes, Jon Gomm and countless others. The media has cited him as ‘One of the finest exponents of the acoustic guitar in the world.’ Expect high dynamics, deep grooves, delicate African inflexions, and mind-bending guitar playing of an entirely new order.
Since 2011, renowned South African guitar player Guy Buttery has been working on a project that combines his virtuosic solo guitar playing and distinctly African musical voice with contemporary compositional techniques and textures combined with a String Quartet. Having worked with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in an associated project, this collaboration sets up the perfect platform to take Buttery’s intricate guitar-based compositions out of their solo guitar environment and re-contextualise them in a contemporary symphonic setting. Guy worked closely with arranger and composer Chris Letcher on the collaboration with the KZNPO and, based on its success, they were immediately discussing how to take this project further. The performance was described as a flawless synchronization of Africa and the West. This unique pairing creates a world of opportunity for the strings and guitar operating as musical equals, and even at times as rivals, rather than simply as soloist and accompanying ensemble. Performing a ‘best-of’ from his collective works from the last 15 years along with brand new compositions unique to this project, Buttery relooks at the guitar and string quartet presentation and catapults it to new heights.