There are long shadows cast from the piano giants that are rooted deep in New Orleans music.
Henry Butler is from New Orleans, but is doing much more than playing on a tradition as he writes his own story and plays his own song. He knows all too well what went down yesterday but here he comes today.
His immersion into music began at childhood, at five he was enrolled in the Louisiana State School for the Blind, beginning formal music lessons at eight, he went on to master the baritone saxophone, valve trombone, drums and piano. In his high school years he would undertake formal vocal training. This would continue as he enrolled in Southern State University in Baton Rouge, where he majored in German lieder, French and Italian art songs and opera. He went on to receive his Masters Degree in Vocal Music at Michigan State University. He also received personal tutelage with Alvin Batiste in piano jazz improvisation. Upon graduation he received an Endowment for the Arts, and expanded his jazz studies with Cannonball Adderley, George Duke and Sir Roland Hanna. He established and taught at music workshops and seminars around the country. He was artist in residence at the Missouri School for the Blind and has taught at the University of New Orleans and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.
Read more articles