Mitch Butler - Jazz Artist and Ensemble
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Mitch Butler - Jazz Artist and Ensemble

Columbia, South Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF | AFM

Columbia, South Carolina, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Jazz Funk




"Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Win First Grammy Award!"

Feb 4, 2010

Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Win First Grammy Award!


Debut CD of original compositions recognized as Best Large Jazz Ensemble in 2010
(NEW ORLEANS, LA) FEBRUARY 4, 2010: The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) won a Grammy Award for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for their debut CD Book One at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Composed and arranged by Irvin Mayfield, the 31-year old Artistic director and founder of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Book One explores post-Katrina stagnation, the ongoing financial crisis, and falling in love. Mayfield and Ronald Markham, CEO and president of the 20-piece orchestra accepted the award and thanked the City of New Orleans, members of the orchestra and pass jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton and Danny Barker. “This Grammy award demonstrates that jazz is alive and resides in New Orleans,” said Mayfield”. Adding “The musicians in the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra took my original compositions and created timeless music.”

Book One boast some of the cities finest jazz musicians including clarinetist Evan Christopher, trumpeter Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown, saxophonist Ed “Sweetbread” Peterson, pianist Victor Atkins and vocalists Johnaye Kendrick and John Boutte. “This is a defining moment for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra”, said Markham who guides the operations of the nationally touring non-profit organization. “We dedicate the Grammy Award to the resilient people of New Orleans and the musicians that make the city unique,” added Markham.

NOJO founded the New Orleans Jazz Institute at the University of New Orleans (UNO) where it operates a Saturday Music School for elementary school students. Mayfield is currently composing the Elysian Fields Jazz Commission, an orchestral piece that will premiere at UNO’s commencement in the spring of 2010. Mayfield will also address to the graduates. The Elysian Fields Jazz Commission will serve as the musical platform for the upcoming Road To Carnegie Hall Tour, which includes the Playboy Jazz Festival and the Champs Elysees in France. Mayfield also serves as the artistic director of jazz for the Minnesota Orchestra where he creates and presents original compositions and curates jazz performances. As a professor at UNO’s College of Liberal Arts, Mayfield teaches the New Orleans As Discourse class where students interview professionals and icons in the New Orleans cultural, business and political community. For more information on the class, visit

NOJO also partners with the Royal Sonesta Hotel where it launched the Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, a branded entertainment venue that employs over 50 Jazz musicians weekly. For more information on the Playhouse, visit Every Wednesday, NOJO presents Irvin Mayfield and the NOJO Jam Session, the longest running jazz jam session in the city where orchestra members perform and aspiring musicians join in. Other NOJO partners include Tulane University and the World Village label, a subsidiary of Harmonia Mundi.

Compositions on Book One include: 7th Ward Blues, a tune that pays homage to the Creole neighborhood that gave birth to Jelly Roll Morton and Sidney Bechet. Sweet Bread on the Levee, a soulful tune filled with intrigue and unbridled movement by saxophonist Ed Petersen. In Love All Over Again is a lush, sexy musical interlude that features vocalist Johnaye Kendrick, a recent graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Written by Mayfield, the song reflects an experience that led him to fall in love with music – and New Orleans – all over again. Creole Thang features beautiful melodies by rising clarinetist Evan Christopher. Somebody Forgot to Turn the Faucet Off (probably Steve) features the slide Trombone of Ron Westray, whose urgent so - Irvin Mayfield Web

"Louisiana Music Factory - Book One"

1. 7th Ward Blues (9:13)
2. Sweet Bread On The Levee (5:48)
3. In Love All Over Again (9:55)
4. Creole Thang (5:59)
5. Somebody Forgot To Turn The Faucet Off (10:07)
6. The Mistress (Madam) (6:14)
7. Richie Can Count (8:25)
8. Beat (8:59)
9. Move On Ahead (8:04)

Irvin Mayfield - conductor, trumpet
Evan Christopher - clarinet
Aaron Fletcher - alto saxophone
Norbert Stachel - baritone saxophone, flute
Ed "Sweetbread" Petersen - tenor saxophone
Derek Douget - tenor/soprano saxophone
Ronald Westray - trombone
Mitch Butler - trombone
Terrance Taplin - trombone
Barney Floyd - trumpet
Eric Lucero - trumpet
Leon "Chocolate" Brown - trumpet
Ashlin Parker - trumpet
David Pulphus - bass
Adonis Rose - drums
Victor "Red" Atkins - piano

Johnaye Kendrick - #3
John Boutte - #9

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra was founded in 2002 by then 24-year old trumpeter, composer and bandleader Irvin Mayfield, who serves as its artistic director.
The most recent performance, held on Nov. 21, 2008, centered on soloists, such as Ed "Sweetbread" Petersen, and addressed key issues of the day such as post-Katrina stagnation, the price of gass and the ongoing financial crisis. The concert also featured vocalists, including John Boutte, Johnaye Kendrick and Lion "Chocolate" Brown. Many of the songs from the concert have been included on this CD, the debut recording for The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. We titled this CD "Book One," because it will be the first of many that tell the story of our beloved city, the birthplace of jazz. We hope that you enjoy the music and that it inspires you to assist in our recovery by visiting New Orleans soon. - Irvin Mayfield -

- World Village Records

"Nnenna Freelon "Swingles" Christmas with the John Brown Big Band"

Named for the late jazz pianist/composer Loonis McGlohon, a gracious artist who urged me to write for nationwide jazz publications, McGlohon Theater has always been a wonderfully atmospheric theater and concert venue, especially around Christmastime when its stained-glass windows add to the magic. But nestling into our aisle seats in Row J, not as far back at the McGlohon as you might presume, I have to admit it was a little intimidating to be sitting face-to-face with a 16-piece big band - four trumpets, three trombones, five saxophones, and a four-man rhythm section, including a guitarist and bassist/bandleader John Brown – with high-powered vocalist Nnenna Freelon yet to come. But the surprisingly intimate 700-seat hall accommodated the stageful of musicians perfectly, neither swallowing the sound nor blasting it.

Though nothing in the John Brown Big Band publicity suggested that this concert, the second in a Swing Jazz Series quartet stretching into next April, was to be a Christmas concert, Brown and his jazz machine boisterously hinted at it from the first downbeat, launching into a brassy rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” The reason for all the Yuletide cheer became clear soon enough, as Brown directed our attention to the Spirit Square lobby outside, where Freelon’s newest CD was on sale, simply titled Christmas, backed by the Brown Big Band and not quite a month old. I’ll confess that I became somewhat impatient for the Grammy-Award-nominated vocalist’s arrival. “Let It Snow” swung reliably enough, with a creditable solo from Brown, but guitarist Kevin van Sant was insufficiently amped for his solo to be heard, a problem that would plague soloists later on as well. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” only served to expose the trumpets as the weak sector of the orchestra, and “White Christmas,” featuring Shaena Ryan on baritone, didn’t showcase the crème de la crème of the reed section.

Fortunately, there was some heavy instrumental artillery in reserve to back up Freelon. She made a welcome splash with a Frank Foster arrangement, “Swingle Jingle Bells,” turning the familiar “dashing through the snow” bridge into a frisky waltz. Then came a lovely detour into Ellingtonia, “I Like the Sunrise,” from the Duke’s Liberia Suite. While dragging “Jingle Bells” into the jazz idiom was comparatively simple, with a flatted note or two along the way, Freelon parked us at intermission by taking us on a similar voyage with “Little Drummer Boy,” a more impressive feat. Adding to the savory aftertaste was a fine alto sax solo by Will Campbell, easily the best so far. The Big Band was cheerier after the break as Brown and his rhythm section started off with a mash-up of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Jingle Bells,” while the remaining members of the band were deployed to the far wings of the house. Brown escalated his previous invitation to the audience to get up and dance into a positive insistence, though not quite with the childish pugnacity of a Republican congressman. Evidence of people moving their “thangs” could be espied at various intervals in the orchestra and up in the balcony, so Brown did not have to carry out his threat of not playing another note.

There was more righteous swinging here than the Big Band had been able to summon up previously, but what should have been a huge highlight, the “Peanut Brittle Brigade” from Ellington’s arrangement of The Nutcracker Suite, fizzled when it might have sparkled as the clarinet and tenor sax solos were under-mic’d to the point of virtual inaudibility. Thankfully, that was the last blemish on the evening as Freelon returned to the stage while the rhythm section struck up the familiar vamp from Miles Davis’s “All Blues” – only Freelon steered it into a cool modal version of “Silent Night,” abetted by a fine solo from her pianist, Brandon McCune. Yet another tasty track from the new Christmas compilation followed, a cuddly vocal duet with Brown on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” spiced with a second sampling of Campbell’s fine alto. The hits kept coming with a “Spiritual Medley” that included “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” and a pupu platter of “O Little Town Of Bethlehem,” “Joy To The World,” and “Angels We Have Heard On High.” Interplay between Freelon and trombonist Mitch Butler, a well-kept secret until this point, steered the gospel meeting of tunes to a final jazzy destination. After such bravura, the audience predictably demanded an encore. Freelon and the band ended the concert the same way they end their new CD, with a full-blown version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” that gave us Brown and McCune at their virtuosic best. Unlike the purely instrumental version earlier in the evening – and definitely unlike what you’d expect – “home” sounded very much like New Orleans, allowing the band members with portable instruments to parade off the stage and through the audience with a Mardi Gras flair. Nor was it a shabby advertisement for the product available in the lobby. - CVNC

"Trombonist Mitch Butler: Balancing performance and education."

Trombonist Mitch Butler, a native of Raleigh NC, has been balancing professional performance and music education at a very high level for 20 years. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Performance from East Carolina University.

“That’s where I got serious about music partly because I had very good teachers, partly because a lot of my peers were really serious about music and there was a really good environment at that time to get serious about music, and the music I got serious about was Jazz….I’ve been fortunate to be around good people and good teachers and then as I got older, to be around other great musicians... It’s a very good community to be a part of, especially in North Carolina, it’s very nurturing…”

Later, Mitch earned his Doctor of Music Arts degree in Music Performance from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently the Director of Jazz Studies and Assistant Professor of Music at California State University – East Bay in Hayward, California. He balances his work in higher education with regular perfomances in the Bay Area during the school year. His regular gigs include weekly sessions with organist Wil Blades, and performing with Marcus Shelby’s Big Band.

Though his focus for the last 7 years has been teaching and administration at the college level, next year Mitch plans to focus on performing full time and looks forward to teaching younger kids on an individual level. For those young musicians he stresses patience.

“Learning Jazz, there is no easy button at all, whatsoever.. Just be patient, listen to the advice of those that are around you, those that have been doing this….forget about the easy fix.”

On what audiiences should take away about JJ Johnson’s music:

"There’s a great biography on JJ Johnson called The Musical World of JJ Johnson...It talks about his organizational sense and you can here it in his recordings, in his composition, you see it in the life that he led in music...JJ Inc is a great record for hearing how he puts things together, how he trades solos with drums...and then the Jay and Kai recordings with he and Kai Winding…"

Mitch Butler will be paying tribute to JJ Johnson, Friday August 21st at The Jazz Room @ The Stage Door Theater. Tickets available here for two shows at 6pm and 8:15pm.

Connect with Mitch through his website , and on Facebook.

Lastly,look forward to an album Mitch will be cutting next year. - Jazz Artist Initiative

"JAZZ AT THE HIPPODROME: Modus Bone with Mitch Butler"

high energy, five-piece instrumental jazz, funk and fusion ensemble that strives to convey the music of many styles through the jazz idiom. From Duke Ellington to Stevie Wonder and beyond, this collaboration of musicians strives to express the concept of togetherness on the bandstand. Reggie Sullivan, electric and acoustic bass; Jeremy Roberson, drums; Nick Brewer, piano/keyboard; Chris Andrews, saxophone; Mitch Butler, trombone. The Hippodrome, 360 Concord St. June 1 from 7-9p.m. Admission: $16.

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets can be purchased online and by phone after May 7th. However, you can fax/mail your order form immediately – CLICK HERE to download
- Piccolo Spoleto Festival Website

"Andre Hayward Interviews Jazz Trombonist Mitch Butler!"

Hey Jazz Web Shed Friends,

Here's the first of a series of audio interviews I recorded while performing with the New Orleans Jazz Orhestra led by Irvin Mayfield.

This interview is a loose trombone/ jazz improvisation conversation with my good friend & wonderful trombonist, Mitch Butler.

We discuss topics such as altered dominant 7ths, trombone technique, New Orleans music, and many other topics. Enjoy!

Peace & Keep Swinging,

Andre Hayward - Andre Heyward - Jazz Webshed

"Jazz Program to Play More Prominent Notes at Claflin University"

Jazz Program to Play More Prominent Notes at Claflin University
March 12, 2010 -

Claflin Director of Jazz Studies Dr. Mitchell Butler, center, performs with the University Jazz Band.

The melodies emerging from the Claflin University Jazz Studies Program are stronger these days. Dr. Mitchell Butler, director of jazz studies, believes the program is fast becoming a leading destination for future jazz musicians in the state and beyond.

“It's definitely going to be something that grows. I see it growing right now from student interest alone,” Dr. Butler said.

Currently, he has 20 students involved in the Claflin Jazz Band and a host of others will be taking an ever expanding menu of jazz courses at the University. There are two jazz courses available for students on campus now: jazz ensemble and jazz improvisation. But Dr. Butler is set to add courses in jazz history, applied lessons, theory and composition and others in the near future.

Dr. Butler is the first full-time director of jazz studies at Claflin. President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale's vision is for the jazz studies program to be embedded into the overall music curriculum.

“Jazz is such a seminal and influential genre in the mosaic of the music world,” Dr. Tisdale said. “At Claflin, our efforts to expand the jazz studies program will foster the next generations of exemplary musicians and instructors.”
Mr. John Moorer, a music education major from Summerville, S.C. was first introduced to jazz when his high school took a field trip to Claflin. That experience prompted him to attend Claflin so he could one day inspire other people toward careers in jazz.

“I think the world would really stop without music,” Mr. Moorer said. “I want to expose young men to jazz.”

Currently in the University Jazz Band, Mr. Moorer also plays the saxophone at local churches and performs with several jazz ensembles. He said he has gained a vast knowledge on the history of jazz music - from its origins in the Southeast to the stories of icons like Louis Armstrong - while at the University.

After graduation, he plans to either create or expand jazz and classical musical programs at a top-notch high school.

Like Mr. Moorer, Dr. Butler was exposed to jazz prior to college. But the seasoned trombonist fell in love with the genre while receiving his college education at East Carolina University.

Now, Dr. Butler has recently assembled a jazz quartet called Modus Bone that performs locally. He characterizes Modus Bone's style as nebulous because the quartet performs a wide selection of jazz.

“The musical concept is all encompassing,” he said. “It includes all eras of jazz and funk.”

Mr. Demetrius Rouse, a senior music performance major from Florence, S.C., wants to follow in Dr. Butler's footsteps by playing professionally in a jazz ensemble.

He was first introduced to jazz a few years ago when he began playing at open sessions at local jazz clubs. While that experience was fruitful for Mr. Rouse, he knew he needed to better grasp the technical aspects of playing jazz. At Claflin, he has learned the critical aspects of superlative jazz performance, such as musical composition, harmonizing and improvisation.

He initially was seeking a degree in nursing before transferring to the University. Mr. Rouse, a saxophone player, said it was unquestionably the right decision.

“Before I was just playing, but now I have learned so much about music and consequently grown as a performer,” said Mr. Rouse, who is also a member of the Claflin Jazz Band.

The Jazz Band will perform on Wednesday, March 17 for the “Jazz and Stew” festivities at the Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center in the Edisto Memorial Gardens. The festival is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Duke University Director of Jazz and Grammy Award-nominated bassist Mr. John Brown, right, teaches a master class to Claflin University jazz students last fall.
Those students will soon get the opportunity t - Claflin University Press

"Claflin Jazz Ensemble prepares for spring concert April 12"

Hear the smooth melodies of the Claflin University Jazz Ensemble during its annual spring concert on Thursday, April 12.

Carroll V. Dashiell Jr., director of jazz ensemble at East Carolina University, will headline the concert with his seasoned play on the bass and also teach a master class in improvisation. The Claflin Jazz Ensemble will perform with Dashiell and saxophone player Vaughn Ambrose, an award-winning jazz instructor based in Alexandria, Va., at 7 p.m. April 12 in the Whittaker V. Middleton Fine Arts Center on the Claflin campus.

“We invite all music-lovers to come witness what is sure to be a remarkable collaboration between veteran jazz performers and our talented students,” said Dr. Mitch Butler, director of jazz studies at Claflin.

Admission is free, and the public is invited. The concert is part of CALA-Bash — Claflin’s Arts and Letters Annual Bash — which begins Sunday, April 8, and concludes Wednesday, April 18.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, Dashiell will conduct the master class in the University Music Center. At 3:30 p.m. that day, patrons can receive bass and saxophone lessons from Dashiell and Ambrose. A Jazz Jam will be held at 8 p.m. at Molly’s, 110 Centre St., in Orangeburg.

Dashiell, a native of Washington, D.C., has appeared as either a performer or producer of 35 national and international recordings. He has performed with the Boston Pops, National Symphony and the Washington Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he has toured with the likes of the late Ray Charles, Maceo Parker, Maurice Hines, Vanessa Rubin and Jennifer Holiday, among many others. He earned his Masters of Music degree from Howard University.

For more on the Claflin Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert, call Butler at 803-535-5480 or email

Copyright 2012 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Posted in Leisure, Lifestyles, Topnews on Thursday, March 29, 2012 4:00 am | Tags: Claflin, Jazz, Claflin Jazz Ensemble, Vaughn Ambrose, Carroll V. Dashiell Jr., Mitch Butler, Claflin University Jazz Ensemble, Whittaker V. Middleton Fine Arts Center, Facebook

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Hear the smooth melodies of the Claflin University Jazz Ensemble during its annual spring concert on Thursday, April 12.

Carroll V. Dashiell Jr., director of jazz ensemble at East Carolina University, will headline the concert with his seasoned play on the bass and also teach a master class in improvisation. The Claflin Jazz Ensemble will perform with Dashiell and saxophone player Vaughn Ambro - The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, SC)

"Renowned Jazz Musician Ron Westray to Perform during Claflin University Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert April 12"

The Claflin University Jazz Ensemble will perform their annual spring concert on Tuesday, April 12. Renowned jazz trombonist Ron Westray and a cast of other seasoned jazz musicians will join the Jazz Ensemble on stage for a special performance during the concert.

“We invite all music lovers to come witness what is sure to be a remarkable collaboration between veteran jazz performers and our talented students,” said Dr. Mitch Butler, director of jazz studies at Claflin.
Admission is free and the public is invited and encouraged to attend. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center on campus. The concert is part of Claflin's Arts and Letters Annual Bash (CALA-Bash) that starts on Sunday, August 8 and ends on Saturday, August 16.

Butler noted the Jazz Ensemble and featured performers will play selections from Westray's first album Bone Structure. Prior to the performance, Westray will also teach a master class to students in the Department of Music and the public.

Other featured performers will include drummer Ernest Turner of Durham, N.C.; bassist Herman Burney of Washington, D.C. and drummer Quentin Baxter of Charleston. Butler, a nationally known trombone player, will also perform with his students.

In addition to other selections, the ensemble will perform songs from Westray's first album, a collaboration with artist fellow Wycliffe Gordon entitled “Bone Structure”.

Westray is currently the Oscar Peterson Chair of Jazz Performance at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has performed with a wide variety of legendary artists such as Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan. He is best known for his work as the lead trombonist with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York.

Westray is a graduate of neighboring South Carolina State University. This will be the first time he has performed in Orangeburg since then.

For more on the Claflin Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert, contact Butler by phone at (803) 535-5480 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (803) 535-5480 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or by e-mail at - Claflin University Press

"Trombone in hand, Raleigh native Mitch Butler returns to the Triangle"

Raleigh native Mitch Butler doesn’t remember many naysayers when he started playing trombone as a student. Then again, Butler, playing two shows at Beyu Caffe in downtown Durham on Monday, couldn’t be told he would fail at a career that he didn’t realize even existed.

“When I was in high school, I didn’t even know that you could become a musician professionally, outside of becoming a music teacher,” says Butler, speaking from his home in South Carolina. “When I went to college, I wasn’t told that becoming a musician was impossible, I was just told that I had to work hard to make it. . . . But my family and friends were always supportive of my career. I’m much more likely to see someone in the crowd of one of my shows that encouraged me early in life, and that makes me feel good, just to have that opportunity to walk up to them afterwards and to tell them that I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”

The two shows Butler is set to play in Durham mark the first for the jazz musician in the Triangle in nearly half a decade. Since earning a doctorate in music arts from the University of Texas in Austin, as well as leading jazz orchestras throughout basically every major jazz hub in the country, the trombonist has spent the last several years between prestigious teaching jobs at various universities and on the road as a performer. Butler says this juggling keeps him busy, but he still isn’t sure how to answer when someone asks him if he’s “made it” yet.

Read more here: - Raleigh News and Observer


Mitch Butler Discography

Unbroken (2017 Release)
Tiffany Austin
Con Alma Records
Fantasy Studios Berkeley, CA
Trombonist, Arranger, Co-Producer

Book One
2010 Grammy Award
Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
New Orleans, LA 2008
World Village

Nnenna Freelon and the John Brown Big Band
Kernersville, NC 2012
Brown Boulevard Music

Watch It! (2012 release)
Summit Records
San Marcos, TX 2010

Setting Standards vol. 1 (2012 release)
John Brown Jazz Orchestra
Kernersville, NC 2009

Setting Standards vol. 2 (2012 release)
John Brown Jazz Orchestra
Kernersville, NC 2011

Blues for the Tribe
Baron Tymas
Durham, NC 2005
Tymas Music



Mitchell Butler is a native of Raleigh, NC and currently calls Columbia, SC home. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Performance from East Carolina University. Mitch is also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Doctor of Music Arts degree in Music Performance with an emphasis in Jazz Studies.

Mitch has been the trombonist and leader of a number of musical groups including the Nebulous Jazztet from 2001 to 2006, Modus Bone from 2010 to 2012, the CSU East Bay Faculty Jazztet, and currently the Mitch Butler Quartet. These groups have served as entertainment and educational ensembles for the southeastern United States and the West Coast of the US. These groups perform in venues ranging from night clubs to jazz festivals to music seminars.

Mitch was a member of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra headed by world renowned trumpeter Irvin Mayfield from 2008 to 2010. In February of 2010 the N.O.J.O. won the Grammy Award for large jazz ensemble with the release of the recording "Book One" - a recording that Mitch is featured on. He is also the a soloist on the critically acclaimed Nnenna Freelon and John Brown Big Band album, "Christmas". Mitch has also been a trombonist for the international award winning jazz group JazzBonez, which features six trombones and rhythm section and recorded the critically acclaimed album "Watch It!". Contributions to The New Five Jazz Project based in Austin, Texas, the aforementioned John Brown Big Band based in Durham, NC, the North Carolina Jazz Repertoire Orchestra in Chapel Hill, NC and the Tiffany Austin Quintet based in San Francisco Bay Area, CA have also proven to be important to his musical development as a performer, composer, and/or arranger for those groups. Butler has also performed and/or recorded with musical greats such as Curtis Fuller, Tia Fuller, Derrick Gardner, Aaron Graves, Benny Green, Tim Hagans, Slide Hampton, Tom Harrell, Andre Hayward, Conrad Herwig, Brad Leali, Branford Marsalis, Jason Marshall, Bob Mintzer, Melton Mustafa, Dick Oates, Rufus Reid, Herlin Riley, Stephen Riley, Adonis Rose, Darius Rucker, Grady Tate, Billy Taylor, Gregory Tardy, The Temptations, Ray Vega, Fred Wesley, and many others.

Much time has also been invested as an educator in jazz studies. Mitch was the Director of Jazz Studies and Assistant Professor of Music at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, CA from 2013 to 2016. Before that, he was Director of Jazz Studies at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC from 2009 to 2013. He has also invested time in music throughout the community, having provided private lessons in trombone and jazz studies as well as participating in clinics/workshops throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, the Southeast, Central Texas, and California. Butler has also held faculty and teaching positions at several institutions including Durham School of the Arts, East Carolina University, North Carolina Central University, Elon University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the University of Texas at Austin. Mitch is now a full time performing musician, clinician, composer, and arranger.

Mitch Butler is an exclusive Michael Rath Trombones artist and clinician.