Once you’ve heard what bluesman Henry Butler’s hands can create on those ivories, there’s no going back. Those hands boogie that keyboard like no one else’s. Throw in a classically trained voice aching us through the blues, and you’re someplace you have never been before and would give anything to return to, again and again.
Considered the premier exponent of the great New Orleans jazz and blues piano tradition, Butler is a ten-time Pinetop Perkins (formerly W. C. Handy) Best Blues Instrumentalist Award nominee. A rich amalgam of jazz, Caribbean, classical, pop, blues, and R&B, his music is as excitingly eclectic as that of his New Orleans birthplace.
A rich amalgam of jazz, Caribbean, classical, pop, blues, and R&B, his music is as excitingly eclectic as that of his New Orleans birthplace. Blinded by glaucoma at birth, Butler has been playing the piano since he was six years old, and arranging, composing, and performing professionally since he was twelve.
A New York Times review of a performance at New York City’s Jazz Standard described Butler as “percussive in his attack, ostentatious with his technique…the picture of stubborn mischief — and, not coincidentally, of New Orleans pianism. He obliged the spirit of the occasion with his own stylistic consommé: billowing whole-tone glissandi; furrowed, Monkish hiccups; boppish two-handed octaves; flare-ups of funk and Chopin.”