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Playing gutbucket blues or uptown jazz, he has been described as the greatest living proponent of the classic New Orleans piano tradition. Butler’s knowledge and mastery of 20th century piano music is encyclopedic. He can throw baroque flourishes into New Orleans rhythm & blues, add boogie woogie trills to classical ragtime, or play gospel standards with free jazz dissonances and abstractions.
Butler’s sound has been influenced by his childhood in New Orleans; by studying with Alvin Batiste, Sir Roland Hanna, Professor Longhair, and James Booker, among others; and by formal music education at Louisiana School for the Blind, Southern University, and Baton Rouge. Butler has the musical fluency and inspiration to interpret almost any piece of music into his own unique creation.