A premier exponent of the great New Orleans jazz and blues piano tradition, Henry Butler is a ten-time Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Blues Foundation Award nominee. Combining a rich mixture of jazz, Caribbean, classical, pop, blues, and R&B influences with his classically-trained voice, his music is as excitingly eclectic and unique 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 12.
His sound has been influenced by the many places he has lived and visited, and by studying with other great artists, including Alvin Batiste, Professor Longhair, and James Booker. He has also studied at the Louisiana School for the Blind, Southern University at Baton Rouge, and Michigan State University.
Butler has played almost every major club and festival in the United States, as well as international venues. For more than 40 years, he has conducted workshops, clinics, and master classes throughout the country. He also developed a camp for blind and visually impaired teen musicians, which was the subject of a 2010 documentary, The Music's Gonna Get You Through. His photographs exploring the sighted world's relationship with the flat, representational image and its power, are featured in a recent documentary, Dark Light: The Art of Blind Photographers, and continue to be exhibited nationally and internationally.
The most recent of his many CDs, PiaNOLA Live, contains solo works pulled from his rich tape archives salvaged from the wake of Hurricane Katrina which decimated his home and destroyed his piano, Braille scores, and all of his recording equipment.