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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Get Out: Pianist Henry Butler | Podcast

Henry Butler

Courtesy of Jefferson Center

Henry Butler

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  • Who: Henry Butler Trio
  • What: Music and a discussion of blindness in the creative process
  • Where: Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Ave., Roanoke
  • When: 8 p.m. Saturday. Free pre-show discussion including members from local blind service organizations at 6:30 p.m.
  • How much: $22; $18; $12; half-price for children and students
  • Web: jeffcenter.org, henrybutler.com. For tickets, call 345-2550 or (toll free) (866) 345-2550

A piano giant comes to Jefferson Center on Saturday to help conclude its series "The Blind Leading ... An Exploration of Blindness and Creativity."

But Henry Butler is more than just a piano player. The New Orleans native is also a photographer. How does that happen?

Butler said that a girlfriend from his Los Angeles days was an artist, and they went to a lot of art shows. He could listen to intellectual descriptions of the art, and of course, he could touch the sculptures, but something about the experience made him feel empty.

So he decided on a whim to buy a camera, and in the 20-odd years that followed, his work has not only been accepted, but exhibited. See some of his work at henrybutler.com/pictures.htm.

But so far, no endorsement offer from Canon, his camera-maker of choice.

"What better way to sell a camera, you know," he said. "If a blind guy can take pictures, anybody can."

Of course, he gets more accolades from his first job, playing the 88s. Butler is a student of New Orleans music and its pianists -- go to this story at roanoke.com to hear a podcast with Butler, in which he talks about the giants of Big Easy piano, and plenty more. The podcast also includes songs from his latest CD, "PiaNOLA," a live recording featuring only Butler and his piano.

He'll be at Jefferson Center as a trio, with bass and drums, and he promises a wide range of songs and styles.

-- Tad Dickens

Who: Henry Butler Trio

What: Music and a discussion of blindness in the creative process

Where: Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Ave., Roanoke

When: 8 p.m. Saturday. Free pre-show discussion including members from local blind service organizations at 6:30 p.m.

How much: $22; $18; $12; half-price for children and students

Web: jeffcenter.org, henrybutler.com. For tickets, call 345-2550 or (toll free) (866) 345-2550

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