In a career spanning over 45 years, pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson has earned a world-wide reputation as a traditional jazz and ragtime master. He tours widely as a soloist or at the helm of any of his several ensembles, including his well-known Butch Thompson Trio, his eight-piece Jazz Originals band, the Butch Thompson Big Three, or his unique blues duo with fingerstyle guitarist Pat Donohue. Widely known for his 12-year stint as house pianist on public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion, where the Butch Thompson Trio was the house band, he continues on the show as a frequent guest. Among Thompson’s many recordings are his acclaimed 10-volume solo series on Daring/Rounder, the 1997 Grammy-winning Verve release Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton., and his latest release, the critically acclaimed duo CD Vicksburg Blues with guitarist Pat Donohue.
Composer, arranger, producer, guitarist Dean Magraw has fine-tuned his “Heavy Meadow” approach to music from years of performing and recording with some of the finest musicians in the United States, Europe, and Japan. His first recording, Broken Silence, came out in 1994 and won the NAIRD award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year. Dean has since produced myriad passionate albums, including his latest release, Fire on the Nile (Red House Records), a duo collaboration with renowned percussionist, Eric Kamau Gravatt.