Joseph “Kid Twat” Butler: Renowned Double Bass Traditional Jazz Player

0 Posted by - October 24, 2017 - Black History, History, LATEST POSTS

Joseph “Kid Twat” Butler was a double bass traditional jazz player from New Orleans. More widely known by his rather distinctive nickname, “Kid Twat” or just “Twat,” Butler was a regular player at Preservation Hall throughout the height of the New Orleans jazz revival.

Butler was born on December 26, 1905, in New Orleans’s Algiers neighborhood. His first instrument was a homemade one-string bass. During his youth, Butler and good friend Henry “Red” Allen would follow parades around playing music together. Although Butler did take some lessons with Pinchback Touro, he was largely self-taught.

Among Butler’s first professional performances was a gig playing with Raymond Brown’s band in Grand Isle, which also featured drummer Sammy Penn. In his twenties, Butler had a standing gig with Houma drummer Nolan “Shine” Williams, who recorded with Sam Morgan’s Jazz Band. In these early years of his career, Butler also performed with bandleaders A. J. Piron, Sidney Desvigne, and Papa Celestin. Butler’s best-known compositions remain “Big Lunch Blues,” a series of songs about his experiences during the Great Depression.

During the 1960s Butler was a regular performer preservation Hall with Kid Thomas, “Sweet” Emma Barrett, and others. Butler died on June 19, 1982.

 

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Joseph Butler

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