• Butch Thompson on piano and clarinet

    The sweetness & bouyant rhythm

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    of New Orleans music

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    took hold of Butch & never let go.



  • Evolving Jazz Tradition

    Butch brings his own voice to the classic jazz repertoire of blues, stomps, ragtime and pop songs. From Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag to Duke Ellington's Mood Indigo, from Jelly Roll Morton's New Orleans jazz to the virtuosic stride piano of 1920s Harlem, Butch has played his personal style from Cairo to Kansas City.


    Whether he's working solo, with his well-known trio, or other ensembles around home or in New Orleans, Butch delivers variety and the pure, contagious joy of music making.

  • Jelly Roll Morton said it best

    Jazz was born in New Orleans, he said, from a gumbo of "everything from blues to opera. Jazz music is to be played sweet, soft, plenty rhythm. When you have your plenty rhythm with your plenty swing, it becomes beautiful."

some image One afternoon on a New Orleans porch. From left: Tom Ebbert, Brian O'Connell, Butch, Bill Huntington, Chuck Badie, Duke Heitger.

the man


Got a few minutes? Check out this slideshow of the Hall Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band, while you listen to the band play “State Street Blues.” Stan Hall leads the band on piano with Charlie DeVore on cornet, Russ Hall on trombone, Butch on clarinet, Mike Polad on banjo, Bill Evans on bass, and Doggie Berg on drums. Recorded in the 1960s at Russ Hall's home.


Butch's Calendar here.


I'll be providing the music for The Westminster Town Hall Forum

"Inside the Creative Community: The Power and Process of Animated Film"

featuring Pete Docter, Monday Sep 28th.

It is a great honor to be the 2015 recipient of the A.P. Anderson Award from the Anderson Center at Tower View in Red Wing, Minnesota. “Each year the Anderson Center presents the A.P. Anderson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Literature and the Arts in Minnesota.”


Butch Thompson is a Steinway Artist


Born in a small Minnesota river town, Thompson played Christmas carols on his mother’s upright piano by age three, and began formal lessons at six. He studied clarinet in high school, and as a teenager led his first professional jazz group, Shirt Thompson & His Sleeves.

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Butch and great drummer Hal Smith play If You Don't Shake

Butch hosts the Jazz Originals radio show on KBEM 88.5 FM in Minneapolis, Tuesdays at 7PM, and Sundays at 6PM (repeat). Latest shows on demand here.