Joël Dilley
Bett Butler

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Okay, so jazz doesn't make much of a squeak at SxSW. Too small an audience share. Too cerebral. It whispers rather than shouts. And you're already getting mega press releases, so we'll try to make this one as painless as possible. (If you make it all the way to the end, you'll see pictures of cute puppies.)

SxSW Saturday, March 15, 8 pm: Joël Dilley & Bett Butler at the Elephant Room

He plays the bass like a human voice; she sings like an instrument. They bring a singer/songwriter's sensibility to jazz standards and create original world jazz fusing gypsy music, European classical, counterpoint, and infectious world rhythms.

San Antonio, TX—February 18, 2013—Bassist/composer Joël Dilley and pianist/vocalist/songwriter Bett Butler bring their emotional and eclectic music to the Elephant Room for SxSW Saturday, March 15, at 8 pm.

"This talented married couple practically read each other’s minds at this stage of their tasteful musical partnership, which only means the surprises at these intimate shows are conveyed by a nod or a wink or a slight breath between the two."―Hector Saldaña, San Antonio Express-News.

Their backgrounds couldn't be more different, but both are intrigued by the narrative power of music and draw from a world of inspiration.

Joël Dilley
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Bett Butler
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Nina Rodriguez
click here for hi-res album cover
click here for hi-res album cover

Virtuoso bassist Joël Dilley, whose original music has been licensed for use in television (HBO, Discovery Channel, Playboy Channel, Food Network, and more), film, Web, and ambient settings worldwide, counts Charles Mingus, Chick Corea, and Francois Rabbath among his many influences. He's performed and recorded with Willie Nelson, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow, Arturo Sandoval, Richie Cole, and regional symphony orchestras in venues ranging from hole-in-the-wall clubs to the Moscow Conservatory. A category nominee and winner in the Independent Music Awards and a frequent finalist in the International Songwriting Competition,  he has four critically acclaimed albums on Dragon Lady Records: River of Hope, The Window, A New World, and Mandala Meditation Series: Lullaby of the Flatlands. Hear clips from his latest album here on Soundcloud.

Bett Butler credits the influence of Billie Holiday for her phrasing; Blossom Dearie, Tom Waits, and Etta James for her tonal colors; and Tanya Maria for her style of scatting along with unison piano lines. She authored two albums of original music, Short Stories and Myths & Fables. Her album American Sampler placed in the top 10 in iTunes American Songbook category its first week in release and won the Cabaret Category of the Independent Music Awards, and her original song "When Love Has Left the Room" won the Jazz Category of the International Songwriting Competition. She and Dilley were the first married couple to have both won individual grants from the Artist Foundation. Hear clips from her latest album here on Soundcloud.

They'll be joined at SxSW by percussionist Nina Rodriguez and drummer Mike Koenning.

"Their simpatico as a musical duo was immediately apparent. Butler demonstrated a tremendous facility for scat singing, vocalizing over solo bass accompaniment….Dilley's bass playing is broad-toned, dexterous and harmonically advanced in a style slightly reminiscent of Miroslav Vitous….Both he and Butler are close to the blues conceptually, even while evidencing a classical education and advanced jazz technique. Butler is a unique package herself. Her voice, a smooth, slightly husky alto that can slide up to thrilling high notes, has a comfortable, soothing timbre but she changes attitudes from song to song with the facility of a trained actor.…I marveled at the spell this singer could weave…recalling similar moments listening to Billie Holiday, Betty Carter, Laura Nyro and Joni Mitchell. Bett Butler brought me to that place where music can salve the deepest wound, mend the heart most broken."―John Swenson, UPI

"Put simply, pianist/vocalist Bett Butler and bassist Joël Dilley make great records."―Jim Beal, San Antonio Express-News

"Don’t expect 'lite jazz' here. The Houston-bred Bett Butler’s voice is sometimes hoarse and downright growly, but that’s usually the prelude for an unexpectedly soothing wail or a left-field, smirky stage whisper. She makes spontaneous, thrilling, but unflashy vocal choices based on the material, which she has usually written herself or with her partner Dilley....In its most acid moments, Butler’s voice recalls the late-career performances of jazz great Annie Ross in Robert Altman’s sprawling flick Short Cuts. For the most part, though, Butler is warmer, fuller, and more agile in her phrasing of a lyric. Miss this Texas vocal powerhouse at your peril."—Jimmy Fowler, Fort Worth Weekly

"Storytelling with instrumental music is a daunting task, but Dilley gives much thought to the ways music — without words — can articulate feelings and experiences.”—Gilbert Garcia, The Current

"My Melancholy Baby" on YoutTube
"Morning in Tibet" on YouTube
"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" on YouTube
"A Night in December" on YouTube
"I Got Rhythm" on YouTube

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Who:    Bett Butler & Joël Dilley
What:   SxSW Showcase
When:  Saturday, March 15, 8 pm
Where: Elephant Room
               315 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

For contact information and interviews, contact:
Bett Butler
Mandala Music Production
Mobile: 210.573.4234

Amanda Case
AIC Entertainment
321 High School Road, NE
Suite D3, PMB 210
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Tel: 206.781.3956
Fax: 206.781.3957

Hear "Angel in a Dog Suit" here on BandCamp.
Joël & Cosmo Billie (as in Holiday) & Mingus (as in Charles)

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