The peerless Butler’s piano-playing combines impeccable musical polish with a refreshingly fearless attitude, resulting in music with singular storytelling ability and emotional capacity. With both his heart and fingers free, Butler delivers an aching, genuine, and freewheeling New Orleans musical vision.
Undefeated by his life’s many difficulties, Henry Butler’s soul overflows with joyful music. Born with sight damaged by glaucoma, Butler grew up devouring his mother’s records, imprinting piano tunes on his soul before the day he began to play them by ear on a piano.
Since his first childhood encounter with a piano at age 6 in Baton Rouge, Butler has remained a devoted and enthusiastic juggernaut of musical talent. Diligent student by day and regular club performer by night, Butler was a local nonpareil by the age of 14, exploding with talent and perched on the cusp of a meteoric rise as a musician.
In addition to performing, composing, and recording, Butler is a teacher and conductor of music workshops and camps for young, visually impaired musicians. In 2006, Butler joined a group of preeminently talented New Orleans musicians (including Cyrill and Ivan Neville, Marcia Ball, and Dr. John, among others) to record the album “Sing Me Back Home,” a post-Hurricane Katrina meditation on everything lost, a celebration of New Orleans’ resilience, and a powerful tribute to the city’s rich cultural and musical heritage.
Butler performs at MASS MoCA backed only by his considerable piano prowess. The Chicago Tribune declares that “there may be no better way to hear Butler than alone at a keyboard, the pianist funneling all of that power and joy into a single instrument.”
Henry Butler performs in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center on Saturday, October 3, at 8pm. Dinner and snacks are available from Lickety Split before and during the show. A full bar is available including a Small Batch America cocktail, with the first drink included in admission for guests aged 21 and older. Tickets are $18 in advance and for students, $25 day of, and $35 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 10am to 6pm every day, with extended evening hours to 7pm on Thursdays through Saturdays through September 7. Beginning September 8, the box office is open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. The museum is closed on Tuesday, September 8. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at MASS MoCA.