The Town Hall Adds Two Exclusive Music Events to Close Spring 2017 Series;

DAVID BYRNE Curates and Hosts "THIS IS HOW MUSIC WORKS" on June 1st

Featuring Paul Lazar's Cage Shuffle, Lady Dragons Step Team, Batalá New York, North Coast, FloydLittle's Double Dutch, Battlefest Flex Dancers and Peace Industry Music Group

New Orleans Piano Legends DR. JOHN & HENRY BUTLER Unite on June 15th

Rare Performance featuring The Nitetrippers is Part of Blue Note Jazz Festival 2017 

June Shows Cap The Town Hall's Most Expansive Spring Season

Two exciting shows will cap The Town Hall's Spring 2017 presenting season, already the venue's most extensive and wide-ranging season to date. The incomparable David Byrne curates a music and dance variety show to illustrate the updated edition of his book How Music Works on Thursday, June 1st titled This is How Music Works. Two weeks later, on June 15th, Dr. John and Henry Butler, two legends of New Orleans music, join forces for a steamy R&B piano summit featuring Dr. John's legendary backing band, The Nitetrippers.

A musician, photographer, author and filmmaker, David Byrne brings a clear-eyed, 360-degree perspective to music, its business and its impact. The Town Hall event on Thursday,June 1st heralds the new edition of his book, How Music Works (Penguin Random House). Byrne explores how music shapes the human experience, examining how we create it, distribute it and consume it, and adds a new chapter on the subject of Digital Curation.

"To celebrate this new edition," wrote Byrne to his fans. "I will act as impresario at a music-related variety show - human curation in action. I'll introduce you to some amazing performers that inspire me! This event will include all sorts of performance: music, of course, but also magic, theater, dance, science and humor... and more."

Curated and hosted by Byrne and presented in association with Strand Books, This is How Music Works will feature a stylistically diverse cast of performers including dancer and choreographer Paul Lazar's Cage Shuffle, Lady Dragons Step Team, FloydLittle's Double Dutch, hip hop improv by North Coast, Peace Industry Music Group, the Battlefield Flex Dancers, and the all-female samba/reggae percussion band Batalá New York.

Written with the knowledge of an industry veteran but also the passion of a fan, in How Music Works Byrne argues that every aspect of the creation and experience of music-including how, when, where, and with whom you hear it-determines not only if it works, but also what it is. He also examines how our consumption of music has evolved over the years, exploring groundbreaking industry innovations like digital distribution.

First published in 2012, How Music Works has inspired a number of staged events hosted by Byrne. The Town Hall showcase for the 2017 edition will be the first since the book's original publication to feature live performances.

Detailed information on the performers is posted on Byrne's website: 

On Thursday,June 15th, Dr. John and Henry Butler, two living legends of the New Orleans piano, join forces for an evening of hot and steamy blues, jazz and R&B. The Town Hall will feature the Big Easy's greatest stars as part of Blue Note Jazz Festival 2017.

Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack, 76, better known as Dr. John, is one of the most distinctive voices to emerge from New Orleans over the past 50 years. In fact, his work stretches back to the late 50s, when Mac Rebennack became an in-demand producer, player and songwriter working with artists such as James Booker, Professor Longhair and Art Neville. Gris Gris, his 1968 debut album released under the pseudonym Dr. John Creaux, served notice, featuring a combination of voodoo rhythms and chants, jazz, rock and other sounds from the New Orleans music tradition. It was an early highlight of an astonishing career, both as a solo artist and session man that has earned Dr. John six GRAMMY awards and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Last year, producer Don Was spearheaded a tribute concert to Dr. John at New Orleans' historic Saenger Theatre. The resulting 2-CD live set, The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: A Celebration of Mac and his Music, featured guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, John Fogarty, and Mavis Staples, as well as New Orleans stars including Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.

A ten-time Pinetop Perkins (formerly W. C. Handy) Best Blues Instrumentalist Award nominee, the music of pianist and singer Henry Butler, a Brooklyn resident since 2009, is a thick, spicy gumbo made of blues, jazz, Caribbean rhythms, classical music, pop and R&B. Blinded by glaucoma at birth, Butler has been playing the piano since he was six years old. By the age of twelve he was not only performing regularly but arranging and composing for New Orleans combos while attending elementary school by day. An exceptional technique and an "encyclopedic New Orleans flair" (TheNew York Times) allows Butler to move with ease from ragtime and gospel to swaggering second-line rhythms. He is considered the premier exponent of the great New Orleans jazz and blues piano tradition.

Butler's most recent recording, 2014's Vipers Drag, with trumpeter and arranger Steven Bernstein and The Hot 9, featured revamped classics by Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton. Reviewing the CD, Jazz Times proclaimed that Butler "personifies the Bayou tradition, past and present."

For this historic performance, both pianists will be supported by Dr. John's noted backup band, the Nitetrippers, featuring Eric Struthers (guitar), Roland Guerin (bass) and Herlin Riley (drums). The Town Hall concert will be part of Blue Note Jazz Festival 2017.




A Variety Show Hosted and Curated by David Byrne

Presented by the Town Hall in association with Strand Books

Thursday June 1, 2017* 8:00pm


Tickets: $25/35/50/60 SOLD OUT



Featuring The Nitetrippers

Presented by the Town Hall and Part of Blue Note Jazz Festival 2017

Thursday June 15, 2017 * 8:00pm


Tickets: $45/55/65/75


123 West 43rd Street (between 6th Avenue and Broadway)

New York, NY 10036


The Town Hall Box Office 212-997-6661 or TICKETMASTER


Twitter: @TownHallNYC