Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Henry Butler To Play For Marva Wright

Henry Butler 2005 NOJF 6
Originally uploaded by NoVARon
Henry Butler, shown at the 2005 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, will be performing at Washington DC's Blues Alley, the evening of Thursday, August 20. Henry will have shows at 8 and 10 PM. This show will be in part a benefit for the Queen of New Orleans Blues, Marva Wright who has been having health issues, the most recent being a severe stroke suffered on June 6. Part of the proceeds for Henry Butler will go towards Marva.

The following is a press release emailed from Kandy Collins


East Coast Performances Include an August 20 Solo Performance at Washington DC's Blues Alley and a Fundraising Effort for Fellow New Orleans Blues Artist Marva Wright

Washington, D.C. -- August 12, 2009 -- After living away from New York for two decades, powerhouse performer Henry Butler once again makes Brooklyn his home and schedules appearances at prestigious East Coast venues. At Blues Alley on August 20, Butler will showcase his unique blend of New Orleans Funk, Blues and R&B that is enthralling audiences world-wide and earning him a reputation as one of the world’s most versatile and entertaining performers. He will also recognize fellow Crescent City artist and Blues Alley favorite, Marva Wright, who is recovering in New Orleans from a severe stroke suffered there on June 6. Just two days before an All-Star benefit for Marva at the iconic Tipitina’s, Butler will donate a portion of his proceeds toward her recovery efforts.

Traversing the jazz and blues worlds with great finesse, Butler has graced the stages of the Library of Congress, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and The Apollo Theatre. He has recorded with the likes of Odetta, jazz bassist Charlie Haden and 2007 MacArthur Foundation Fellow Corey Harris. He has released ten records under the MCA, Windham Hill, Blacktop and Basin Street Labels. George Winston, who produced Butler’s most recent work,“Pianola Live,”says of him, “Henry is the pianist I have been studying the most since I first heard him in 1985…he has taken R&B piano to its pinnacle, and he is the only pianist I know who plays the deep Blues and R&B and mainstream jazz. You need to see him live to fully experience his music.”

An eight-time W.C. Handy “Best Blues Instrumentalist – Piano” award nominee, Butler knows no limitations. Although blinded by glaucoma since birth, Butler is a world class photographer who will be featured in an HBO documentary on blind photographers to be broadcast this fall. “You don’t have to be bound by anyone else’s limitations on you,” says Butler, “Where there’s a will there are ways to overcome anything.” This message is the centerpiece to the many programs Butler, who holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Music from Michigan State University, has designed for blind and visually impaired students.

Butler’s return to New York is partially motivated by the number of established facilities in the region dedicated to working with the blind and visually impaired and his desire to restart, on the East Coast, a jazz camp he began in 1994 at the Missouri State School for the Blind and last held at the University of New Orleans two weeks prior to Katrina. Butler’s Creative Music Jazz Camp for Blind and Visually Impaired Teenage Musicians gives participants ways of writing and reading music independent of any sighted assistance. “And achieving independence,” says Butler, “is the key to building confidence and self-esteem. “

There will be two shows at 8 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $25. Reservations are suggested.

Blues Alley
1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-4141

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