Intuition, emotion, talent guide Butler’s photography, music |

Intuition, emotion, talent guide Butler’s photography, music

Henry Butler has been guided by intuition, emotion, and talent throughout his life.

At just 4 years old, he could tell the difference between good musicians and bad as he walked the night streets of New Orleans listening to jazz float through open apartment windows to his ears.

His ear for talent and good music lead him to start making music of his own by age 8 and composing music by 10.

“By the time I was about 10 years old … I started doing a little light jazz arranging. Then, when I was 12, my band teacher gave me a band to start arranging for,” he says.

Then, in his early 30s, Butler’s desire to develop his creative intuition lead him to take up photography.

“I thought it would be a good way to challenge myself to develop my intuition in different ways,” he says.

And a challenge it must have been. One thing not guiding Butler was his eyesight ” he has been blind since birth.

“I actually got into it because for years I’d been going to (photography) exhibits and honoring what people were doing in my own way.”

Just going to exhibits wasn’t fulfilling Butler’s needs, however.

“I needed some emotional involvement,” he says.

And the way Butler decides what to shoot is largely based on his emotions at a particular moment.

Or someone may say to him, “look there’s this great scene you should capture,” says Butler.

“If I like the way they’ve described it, I’ll go out and shoot.”

“I love it,” he says of his photography. “I don’t claim to be an Ansel Adams, or any of the really great photographers, but I am growing, and I am exceeding my expectations.”

Butler will play the Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz on Wednesday, July 21, his third performance here.

If Butler had his camera handy the last time he played Summer of Jazz, relying on emotion to determine when to take a photo, he likely would have snapped a picture.

As the concert started, the sky over Two Rivers Park opened up and dumped rain on the crowd and musicians.

Instead of canceling the show, organizers pushed the band and its equipment to the back of the stage, away from the rain, and invited the crowd on stage.

Butler asked Summer of Jazz organizer Mary Noone to explain to him what he was looking at and she explained that they were in a rainstorm, looking West over the Colorado River, with a small crowd gathered on the stage.

Reminded of the scene, Butler instantly remembered and excitedly said, “Oh, that was fun, man. They just had this great concert … it was all acoustic.”

Then, like he was looking at a good picture, he said, “It was great.”

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 520

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