Music News: New Orleans piano great Henry Butler dies at 69

by

Henry Butler performs in New Orleans in 2011.
Henry Butler performs in New Orleans in 2011. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

New Orleans piano great Henry Butler has died, after being diagnosed with colon cancer, at age 69. As the New York Times notes, Butler was part of the "distinctively New Orleans piano pantheon" that has also included the likes of Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Domino, and Allen Toussaint.

Butler commanded the syncopated power and splashy filigree of boogie-woogie and gospel and the rolling polyrhythms of Afro-Caribbean music. He could also summon the elegant delicacy of classical piano or hurtle toward the dissonances and atonal clusters of modern jazz. He could play in convincing vintage styles and sustain multileveled counterpoint, then demolish it all in a whirlwind of genre-smashing virtuosity.

Controversial musical canceled at Montreal Jazz Fest

The Montreal Jazz Fest has canceled all remaining performances of a musical theater production that has sparked controversy and inspired Moses Sumney to drop out of the festival. SLAV, a "theatrical odyssey based on slave songs," is performed by a predominantly white cast and has been accused of racism.

"Since the beginning of SLAV performances, the festival team has been shaken and strongly affected by all the comments received," wrote the festival in a statement. "We would like to apologize to those who were hurt. It was not our intention at all." (Pitchfork)

Son of Tina Turner dies

Real estate agent Craig Turner, the oldest of Tina Turner’s two sons, has died in a reported suicide at age 59. Craig Turner's father was saxophonist Raymond Hill; Ike Turner adopted Craig when Ike wed Tina in 1962. (Billboard)

Chance the Rapper engaged

Congratulations to Chance the Rapper, who has announced his engagement to longtime girlfriend Kirsten Corley. The pair celebrated with their daughter Kensli after a shirtless Chance took a knee amid cheering friends. (Billboard)

Jay-Z on a Jet Ski is today's best meme

A photo of Jay-Z riding a Jet Ski in 2016 has resurfaced as a viral meme. Pick your favorite interpretations from a gallery collected by Billboard.


comments powered by Disqus