Butler, Henry (jazz)
- Gary W. Kennedy
(b New Orleans, Sept 21, 1949: d Bronx, NY, July 2, 2018). American pianist. He was blind from birth and began singing lessons at the age of five. A year later he enrolled at the Louisiana School for the Blind, where he learned classical piano, drums, and baritone saxophone and sang in the glee clubs and choirs. At high school he changed his classical lessons from piano to singing, as he found reading braille scores too time consuming and inhibiting, and began performing in local bands in the Baton Rouge area. Butler gained an undergraduate degree in singing at Southern University, where he also studied piano and had lessons with Alvin Batiste, and in 1971 he was awarded a grant to receive tuition from George Duke. He then attained a master’s degree in classical singing at Michigan State University and studied piano with Harold Mabern. After returning to New Orleans (...