Henry Butler

Henry Butler - © http://www.henrybutler.com/images/pr

born on 21/9/1949 in New Orleans, LA, United States

died on 2/7/2018 in New York City, NY, United States

Henry Butler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Henry Butler (born September 21, 1949, New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American jazz pianist.


He is known for his technique and his ability to play in many styles of music. In 1987, New York Times music critic Jon Pareles wrote that Butler "revels in fluency and facility, splashing chords all over the keyboard and streaking through solos with machine-gun articulation.[2] In 1998, Chicago Tribune arts critic Howard Reich described Butler as "an enormous intellect matched by unusual physical strength."[3] Referred to by Dr. John as "the pride of New Orleans," Butler is his generation's representative in the Crescent City's lineage of piano players such as Professor Longhair, James Booker, Tuts Washington, and Jelly Roll Morton.

Butler has recorded for several record labels, including Impulse, Windham Hill, and Basin Street Records.

Butler was blinded by glaucoma in infancy.[4] His musical training began at the Louisiana State School for the Blind, where he learned to play valve trombone, baritone horn and drums before focusing his talents on singing and piano.[5] Butler was mentored at Southern University, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by clarinettist and educator Alvin Batiste.[6] Butler later earned a master's degree in music at Michigan State University in 1974, and received the MSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated Butler's home in the Gentilly section of New Orleans. His 1925 vintage Mason & Hamlin piano was wrecked by flood waters that rose to nearly eight feet inside his house.[7]

In the wake of Katrina's damage, Butler left New Orleans and briefly relocated to Colorado, living first in Boulder and then Denver. He later spoke of that Colorado period as "a trying exile."[8] In 2009, Butler relocated again to New York City.

Butler has pursued photography as a hobby since 1984, as an outgrowth of attending art exhibits in Los Angeles and asking friends to describe featured works.[9] His methods and photos were featured in an HBO2 documentary, Dark Light: The Art of Blind Photographers, that aired in 2010.[10] Butler's photographs also have been shown in galleries in New Orleans.[11]


  • Fivin' Around (1986)
  • The Village (1988)
  • Orleans Inspiration (1990)
  • Blues & More (1992)
  • For All Seasons (1996)
  • Blues After Sunset (1998)
  • The Game Has Just Begun (2002)
  • Homeland (2004)
  • PiaNOLA Live (2008)

With James Carter

  • In Carterian Fashion (Atlantic, 1998)

With Corey Harris

  • Vu-Du Menz (Alligator Records, 2000)

With Steven Bernstein

  • Viper's Drag (2014), Impulse


  1. ^ "New Orleans Blues : Significant Albums, Artists and Songs, Most Viewed". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  2. ^ Jazz: Henry Butler. The New York Times, July 30, 1987.
  3. ^ Henry Butler Nearly Peerless at the Piano. Chicago Tribune, September 27, 1998.
  4. ^ Spartan Saga: Henry Butler. Michigan State Alumni Magazine, December 19, 2011.
  5. ^ Mallernee, Ellen (June 30, 2008). "Piano Man Henry Butler Remembers Not to Forget New Orleans". Gibson.com. 
  6. ^ At Jazz Standard, New Orleans's Loss is New York's Gain. The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2011.
  7. ^ His Piano Destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, Blind Pianist Henry Butler in Trenton to 'Uplift'. The Trentonian, February 28, 2008.
  8. ^ At Jazz Standard, New Orleans's Loss is New York's Gain. The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2011.
  9. ^ Blind Blues Pianist Henry Butler Doubles as Photo Artist. Brett Martel, The Associated Press, as published in the Indiana Daily Student, May 16, 2005.
  10. ^ Henry Butler Profiled in Documentary About Blind Photographers. New Orleans Times-Picayune, November 16, 2010.
  11. ^ Knight, Brian. "The Butler Did It: An Interview with pianist Henry Butler". The Vermont Review. Retrieved 2010-05-29. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Culture Catch Music Salon & Dusty Wright Interview with Henry
  • Bonnaroo Interview with Henry by Ellen Mallernee
  • Le Show interview: Shearer, Harry (May 3, 1998). "le Show". HarryShearer.com. Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2009. 
This page was last modified 08.02.2018 06:39:11

This article uses material from the article Henry Butler from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.