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John Boutte

Walk down the tree-lined streets of New Orleans’ Faubourg Marigny neighborhood on a hot sultry night, and chances are you’ll hear John Boutte’s voice floating out of one of the area’s trendy nightspots. Perhaps he’ll be singing soulful versions of Sam Cooke’s "A Change Is Gonna Come" or Annie Lennox’s "Why," or maybe it’ll be one of the bayou-blended tunes he’s co-authored with Paul Sanchez, his pal in the Marigny. Whatever the song, its soulfulness will stop you in your tracks, for Boutte lives and breathes the heart and soul of New Orleans. Born into a large Creole family that goes back seven generations in Louisiana, he was exposed to music early in life, soaking up New Orleans jazz, soul, blues and gospel, then adding his own Creole traditions along the way. Today, Boutte works with a wonderful amalgam of styles -- from torchy jazz to aching soul and African-American gospel -- all convincingly delivered.

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