Ruth Davies' Blues Night featuring Henry Butler
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2008 7:30 PM PDT
Stanford University Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Palo Alto, CA
"Henry Butler is arguably the greatest living proponent of the classic New Orleans piano tradition, playing an amalgam of boogie-woogie, jazz, blues, and classical in the lineage of Professor Longhair, James Booker, Tuts Washington, Allen Toussaint and countless other emperors of the ivories." --CMJ New Music Report
Ruth Davies's annual Blues Night is always a highlight of the Stanford Jazz Festival. Davies is a bassist with rock-solid blues and jazz credentials, including performances with John Lee Hooker, Etta Jones, Charles Brown, and Van Morrison. This year her special guest will be New Orleans piano innovator Henry Butler, who seasons his blues with an eclectic variety of influences. After learning to play several instruments as a child at the Louisiana School for the Blind, Butler went on to study classical voice, earning a master's degree. He also immersed himself in jazz and, with the encouragement of his mentor, clarinetist Alvin Batiste, Brazilian and Caribbean music. His recorded output includes everything from post-bop jazz piano trios to rocking electric blues, though recently he has returned to his roots, channeling his various influences into the blues of his native city. Called "the pride of New Orleans" by none other than Dr. John and a "piano genius" by All Music Guide, Butler released his first live recording on the New-Orleans based independent label, Basin Street Records, in April of this year.