Igor Butman was born in 1961 in St.Petersburg (Leningrad). At the age of 11 he began to play the clarinet in the children’s music school. Simultaneously Igor engaged in ice hockey and he even ran out for junior national team "SKA Leningrad". However he made his choice to the benefit of music, and in 1976 he entered music academy named after Mussorgsky specializing in saxophone. Being a student, Igor began playing in David Goloschekin’s ensemble. Approximately at this time Igor Butman took part in the concerts and recordings of “Popular mechanics" with Sergey Kurekhin, and also with groups "Kino" and "Aquarium".
Igor got the first recognition by jazz critics in 1981: in the newspaper "Sovetskaya molodezh" he was called "Discovery of the year".
In 1989 Igor Butman moved to New York where hebegan to perform with the orchestra of famous vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. the first solo album of Igor Butman came out from the New York company "Impromptu" in 1993. It was called "Falling Out" and was recorded with the participation of pianist LYLE MAYS, contrabassist EDDIE GOMEZ and drummer MARVIN “SMITTY” SMITH.
Igor Butman became the first Russian jazz man, who released his album at the Universal Music Russia. The presentation of the latest solo album of the saxophonist "Prophecy", that was recorded in America during Igor Butman’s quartet tour and released at the Universal Music Russia, took place at jazz clubs "Birdland" in New York and "Le Club" in Moscow in June, 2003.
In 2003-2004 Igor Butman performed with such World stars such as Ray Charles, George Benson, Al Jarreau.
In June, 2004 Igor Butman became the laureate of National award of Russian Federation in the sphere of literature and art.