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Jonathan Butler Named First Global Celebrity Entertainment Ambassador For Top Arts Education Nonprofit, Lalela

Two-time Grammy® Nominee and International Recording Artist Jonathan Butler has been appointed the first Global Celebrity Entertainment Ambassador for international arts education nonprofit, Lalela. In his new role, Jonathan’s work will help raise awareness, funds and additional support for the organization.

“I believe in the vision and purpose of Lalela and couldn’t be more honored to represent them,” said Jonathan. “I’ve long supported charitable causes that focus on education, especially for the arts, music and culture, and it is great to now be giving back to my South Africa, which gave me so much. When I saw the work of these students because of Lalela’s impact, I was inspired and wanted to create an alliance so I could help tell the world about this amazing organization.”

Founded in 2010, Lalela provides educational arts for at-risk youth from South African townships, to spark creative thinking and awaken the entrepreneurial spirit. Ideas, art and music are the signature components of every Lalela curriculum, with the goal of engaging and empowering youth in creative thinking and solutions. Through its arts curriculum and critical messaging component, the young artists are taught how to map and manifest their dreams and goals, launching the possibility of a different future for themselves and their communities.

The organization was recently honored that one of their twelfth graders, Amos*, from Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg, was selected to contribute his artwork, seen here, for the cover of Jonathan’s new album, Christmas Together, available October 4. Amos is a focused and ambitious member of Lalela. He attends the after-school program at Lalela’s Centre for Arts and Innovation in the inner-city Johannesburg district of Maboneng, and dreams of becoming a cardiac surgeon along with pursuing his love of art and music. This holiday season, Lalela will make available one of their signature scarves featuring Amos’ album cover design, offering donors a truly sustainable way of giving with 100% of the proceeds from each scarf going directly to Lalela’s educational programs.

“We’re all extremely excited and proud of the collaboration and brand ambassadorship between Lalela and Jonathan Butler. Jonathan is iconic, one of the greatest South African born musicians of whom I have always been a huge fan! We are grateful for the opportunity granted to Amos, a Lalela student, of creating Jonathan’s latest album cover,” said Lalela’s Founder and CEO, Andrea Kerzner.

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Jonathan’s Christmas Together single, “Joy to the World,” which features saxophone legend Dave Koz, will release to smooth jazz radio on Nov. 4, 2019.

“On ‘Joy to the World,’ I did a background vocal part and came up with ‘Joy to All the World’ because there should be joy for everyone in the world,” said Jonathan. “Dave and I wanted to capture that spiritual side of what the song really means. It really is uplifting and that’s how I wanted it to feel.”

*Surname withheld in accordance with South African child-protection laws.


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About Jonathan Butler

Two-time Grammy® nominee Jonathan Butler’s musical story began at age 12 recording the Burt Bacharach song “Please Stay,” originally recorded by vocal quartet The Drifters in 1961. Escaping the Apartheid-poisoned South Africa through a love for music instilled within him from his parents and siblings, Butler has become a world-­renowned singer, guitarist and entertainer via songs ranging from the pop of “Sarah, Sarah” and the soul of “Do You Love Me” to the jazz of “Deliverance” and his Contemporary Gospel classic “Be Encouraged.” Jonathan has received chart-topping success, awards and accolades for his recordings. His self-titled debut album put him on the map internationally and garnered two Grammy® nominations, which include the R&B-pop vocal statement “Lies” and the poignant instrumental, “Going Home.” Butler, a multi-talented musician, produces, arranges, and plays guitar, bass and keyboards. He has released several best-selling Gospel CDs, most notably Gospel Goes Classicaland Brand New Day.


About Lalela 

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Lalela provides educational arts for at-risk youth to spark creative thinking and awaken the entrepreneurial spirit. Through Lalela’s arts curriculum and critical messaging component, they ignite imagination and teach children how to map and manifest their dreams and goals, launching the possibility of a different future for themselves and their communities. Lalela directly serves more than 5,000 South African learners per week, ages six through post-high school, adhering to a curriculum ‘I AM’ (for “ideas, art and music”).


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