Henry Butler's Jambalaya Band

Sept. 1
7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Blues, Cajun

James Booker may have been the most eccentric of New Orleans’ exceptional, idiosyncratic pianists, but Henry Butler isn’t far off. Butler is an eclectic virtuoso, embracing classical, bop, pop, traditional jazz, Caribbean shimmers, and numerous points in between. One of Butler’s many musical configurations, the Jambalaya Band is an electric blues-oriented quartet that tackles the NOLA canon with punchy élan. Butler leads the way on far-ranging improvisational forays that venture into the quirky crevices of Crescent City standards, yielding unique interpretations whose impressionistic sections blossom into familiar strains. Virtually every tune features a Butler keyboard clinic of classical chords, percussive McCoy Tyner stylings, freaky funk, and ornamental oddities, while his gospel-edged baritone burrows into the lyrics of Allen Toussaint or Earl King. Butler’s had a couple of bouts with cancer recently but is reportedly doing well.