Jazz ART Gallery

Welcome to my Jazz ART Gallery. Below you will find an alphabetical list of all of my current jazz portraits and prints. Each painting is hyperlinked to a Special Feature about the musicians and bands appearing on this website.

The Feature article highlights the key facts about each musician at the time the portrait was painted. It also displays the painting, the Fine Art Giclée print and the verse. And it gives the reason why I chose to paint this particular musician or band and the inspiration behind the painting, as well as where and when the picture was first conceived.

For every portrait, I penned a poem putting into verse or prose the emotions I felt at the time. The only way to capture the emotive feelings of being in the presence of our truly wonderful musicians was to illustrate visually in vivid colour, through the medium of my choice and the strokes of my brush, the emotions that I felt in a split second of time. To then put those feelings into words, I chose to write a verse. The two are inseparable, Art and Verse, but how can they be displayed together? The solution – creating Fine Art Giclée prints was the way I chose to bring these moments to life for you to enjoy.

I hope you will take the time to explore my Jazz ART as you troll through my website. And if you also like landscapes and seascapes, then I must introduce you to Art&Verse where there are over 100 paintings, each with their own poem that I produced over 30 years ago.

If you would like to purchase any of my works – prints and/or original paintings or would like to know more about them and what I do, please email me at [email protected], I look forward to hearing from you.


A selection of my Jazz ART signed A4 and A3 Fine Art Giclée Prints, digital prints and original paintings are FOR SALE. They come with a special Certificate of Authenticity. To purchase any prints and/or paintings, please contact Peter Butler at [email protected] and I’ll reply by return.

I am in the process of putting my own Jazz ART online store on Etsy and will add a hyperlink to their site as soon as the store goes live. Thank you for taking time to visit my website and my Jazz ART Gallery.

Adrian Cox
Double Take

Amy Roberts & Adrian Cox
“Reeds in Duet”

Amy Roberts on Saxophone
“Amy’s Got Rhythm”

Annie Hawkins
“Annie on Bass

Barry Martyn
“Barry Martyn at The 100 Club”

Betty Renz
“Betty Renz Steels the Show”

Big Bill Bissonnette
“Alias B3”

Bob Thomas
“Bob Thomas of Thomcat Fame”

Brian Smith
Washboard Rhythm King”

Burt Butler
“Burt on Banjo”

Chris Marchant
“Sublime on Drums!”

Chris Tyle on Cornet
Head Honcho with Style

Christine Woodcock on Trombone
“Mysterious Lady”

Cuff Billet
“Cuff Billet on Trumpet”

Dave Arnold on Drums
“The Clash of the Cymbals, The Beat of the Drums”

Dave Bartholomew at The Palm Court,
New Orleans
“Let the Good Times Roll!”

Dave Rance’s Rockin’ Chair Band
“Let it Rip, Dave!”

Dom Pipkin
“Dom Pipkin Pumps Piano”

Dr Michael White

Emile Martyn 
“Emile on Drums”

Emile Van Pelt and Eric Webster
“Honky Tonk Time”

Esther O’Connor
“Esther Enthralls Her Fans”

Frederic John
“Frederic John on Trombone”

Jim Hurd & John Whitehead
“Frog Islanders!”

Gerry Birch on Sousaphone
“Jazz at The George”

Gordon Lawrence

Grand Marshall Jimbo Heads the Parade
“Good Time Jazz”

Gregg Stafford
“He Der Man!”

Hugh Masekela
“The Coal Train”

Ivan Gandon on Saxophone
“A Very Mean Sax”

John Pickett on Trumpet
“Plays Trumpet for Recreation”

Johnny Rodgers on Saxophone
“Passion Personified”

Joshua & Sandra Walker
“Neighbours Well Met”

Katja Toivola on trombone at Donna’s Bar, New Orleans

Keith Minter
Measured Beat and Rolling Peal

Laurie Fray on Clarinet
“The Pinnacle of Passion”

Laurie Palmer on Drums
“Drums on the Prom”

Leroy Jones at Donnas Bar 2010
“Keeper of the Flame”

Lionel Ferbos, Louisiana Jazz Legend
“Long live Jazz, Long live Lionel Ferbos”

Mike Pointon on Trombone
The Trombonist

Pete Lay
“Pete Lay on Drums”

Pete Smith on Sousaphone
“Come Join the Parade”

Ray Colyer on Trumpet
“Take it away, Ray”

Roger Nicholls & Pat Elms
“A Strummin’ and a Drummin’”

Sam Weller & Mark Alexander of Vocalion
“Trombone and Drums”

Sammy Rimington on Clarinet
“The Clarinetist”

Sammy Rimington
Take Two Sammys

Sammy Rimington & Amy Roberts Saxophone Duet
Eyes on the Master

The Fallen Heroes – Tony Rico, Paul Bonner & Ben Martyn
“Sax, Trumpet and Bass”

Tim Curtis on Sousaphone
“Tim on Tuba”

Tony Cunningham on Trombone
“Tony Cunningham Trombonist”

Tony O’Sullivan on Trumpet
“Spotlight on the Trumpet”

Trefor Williams on Double Bass
“Double Bass Ace”

Over in the Gloryland

Sammy Rimington, Frederic John and Keith Minter, performing in a concert of hymns and spirituals at The United Reform Church, Folkestone, Kent (Photo © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz, 2009)

Hymns and Spirituals form a considerable part of the jazz repertoire. It goes back to the times of slavery, especially in the Southern States of the USA, including the Louisiana plantations. Christianity proved a major respite for black slave workers and their families. Sabbath church assemblies not only helped lift them from their drudgery but also provided an opportunity for entire families to relax and fellowship.

“We discovered the history of the slave songs and African rhythms, the spirituals and folk songs, ragtime, the blues, church music and dance music. These were all important contributors to the mix that emerged in the early 20th Century as jazz.” (God, Church and All That Jazz)

This was especially so in Louisiana and New Orleans where the early jazz musicians found inspiration in church music and either adapted hymns and spirituals for their bands or composed their own numbers. Perhaps this is why, for the most part, those early musicians were so smartly attired. The music lifted them above slave status enabling them to forgo slave rags for their glad rags and appear on stage or at their gigs in “the white man’s” attire. And the more popular jazz became, the more they could proudly claim their place in society.

Duke Ellington

Sadly, during the era of UK and European “traditional jazz”, this dress code went by the board. Bands and musicians switched to more easy going, individualist fashions, if they could be called fashions! Duke Ellington would not have been pleased.

But to this day, hymns and spirituals remain a core influence on jazz with numbers such as “Over in the Gloryland”, “The Old Rugged Cross”,  “Down by the Riverside” and “Does Jesus Care” regularly performed at jazz festivals and clubs and sometimes at jazz concerts in churches.

Jazz: A Theology of Different Tones


No wonder, then, that I was especially drawn to an article entitled “Jazz: A Theology of Different Tones”, sent to me by a good friend and jazz fan in Monrovia, LA.

Here are a few extracts from the article:

Wynton Marsalis (Courtesy Fanpix.net)

“Jazz, like other art expressions, offers a theology of differing tones, a language of sophisticated splendour and complexity; a source of varied contemplation. Jazz is music the church should take greater notice of, giving audience and emphasis to its musical-theologians, those that play with great skill, humanity, and inspiration, a gift given to them by the Master of Creativity.”

“So what is it about jazz that is intriguing, particularly from a Christian standpoint? What makes jazz an art form of beauty and

cerebral gymnastics, pointing to the intricate nature of God? These are hard questions to answer. Many have written about the theology, influence, and ideology found within Jazz.”

Thelonious Monk (Courtesy eil.com)

“What’s interesting to note is that many Christians have taken a keen interest inJazz, a once taboo form of music for the church. Even many of the composers, be it Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy, or Wynton Marsalis, have integrated Christian themes within their music.”

“Anabaptist theologian, James McClendon writes, ‘It is jazz with its partner the bluesthat constitutes a distinctly American music, thereby offering American culture (and increasingly, world culture) a fresh art.’ McClendon goes on to summarise the interchange of jazz and worship as, “Participation, improvisation, cooperation, recognition, inclusion.”

“Dutch theologian and historian, Hans Rookmaaker, asks a question concerning the importance of jazz: “Why did we [the church] reject…jazz years ago, without ever bothering to listen and ask ourselves whether it might help rejuvenate Christian music?”

You can read the full article online at: ASSIST News Service (ANS)

Jazz: Sinful or Spiritual?

Next I read in an article entitled: Jazz: Sinful or Spiritual? by David Arivett.

“A careful study of the history of jazz reveals many moments where jazz music has become a very expressive and powerful vehicle that points to a spiritual dimension in life. Whether it’s been jazz funerals in New Orleans, Duke Ellington’s beautiful sacred jazz compositions, or John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”,  jazz music has been created and played for spiritual purposes. In fact, many of its musicians and fans understand both jazz and improvisation to be of a spiritual nature.  Dizzy Gillepsie once shared that…”the church had a deep significance for me musically…I first learned there how music could transport people spiritually”. Many of those considered founding fathers of jazz music from New Orleans, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, and Louis Armstrong were all brought up in church and church music played a very important roll in their musical development. The Negro spirituals also played a most important role in the birth of the music we today call “jazz”.” (http://songsofdavid.com/JazzSinfulOrSpiritual.htm)

“Jazz: A Theology of Different Tones” also quoted The Reverend Alan Kershaw’s poignant statement, …jazz played with feeling and inspiration seems to me more truly an act of worship than singing some of the religious songs I learned back in Sunday School…life is so big and wide and deep that you just have to go beyond what’s superficial, and banal, and what’s phony. Faith rises above the streets, above the slime and the suffering men, to the source of goodness Himself. In this sense, jazz becomes a glorious anthem of praise”.

Jazz in Caistor Church

Caistor Church in Norfolk periodically hosts jazz concerts and is currently announcing:
“Following another successful concert, we hope to bring New Orlean’s Heat back to Caistor in 2014.”

New Orleans Heat (here seen at The Peartree Jazz Club, Welwyn Garden City) are a popular band at jazz weekends at Hemsby, Caistor’s neighbouring village, and have recently released a new CD featuring hymns and spirituals appropriately named “Over in the Gloryland”. (Photo © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

Sammy Rimington’s International Band

Sammy Rimington Jnr shoulder to shoulder with his famous father in a concert with his New Orleans All Star Band at Chilham, Kent, on 6 February, 2010. (Photo by P.M.Butler, Art&Verse)

Back in 1959 Sammy Rimington played with Barry Martyn’s band. His spectacular jazz career as a professional musician with Ken Colyer’s band started in 1960. In those years my lifelong friend Roger followed his gigs in Kent so when Sammy was booked to appear with his International Jazz Band at the 2008 Ken Colyer Trust Hemsby Autumn Jazz Festival in Norfolk, it didn’t take much persuading for me to join Roger at the festival.

Since then I’ve made a point of keeping up with Sammy, who now lives in Sweden, and his International Jazz Band during their UK winter tours. His concerts of Hymns and Spirituals in the New Orleans Style at Folkestone’s United Reformed Church have been nothing short of inspirational and his Trad Jazz gigs at Chilham Village Hall always pack in the fans.

Trefor Williams on bass, Eric Webster on banjo, Emile van Pelt on piano, Frederic John on trombone and Keith Minter on drums are all jazz virtuosos in their own right but to quote The New York Times: “Sammy Rimington’s playing demonstrates the clarinet’s matchless range of funky virtuosity, which makes jazz’s past as real as its future.”

And indeed, Sammy is every bit as dedicated to the future of jazz as he is to continually surpassing his own brilliance. I witnessed this for myself at the 2008 Hemsby Festival when he invited emerging star Amy Roberts, then barely 19, onto the stage to accompany him in a saxophone duet. The next morning I overheard him stressing the need to to persuade Amy to stay with jazz: “Amy’s got a natural talent and feel for the music. She’s got rhythm. She’s the future of jazz.”

Some accolade from a legend of jazz who has performed with Louis Nelson, Big Jim Robinson, Chris Barber, Kid Thomas Valentine and Captain John Handy.

I count it a privilege to have painted a portrait of Sammy in duet with Amy and indeed, portraits of each member of the International Jazz Band. Trefor Williams paid me a huge compliment:

“What a pleasant surprise to receive your portrait of me. I’m very flattered that you considered me a worthy subject. Thank you for devoting your time and talent. It’s a very thoughtful study and the words are very touching. May God continue to bless you and your very special gift”

Sammy Rimington’s website is at: http://www.sammyrimington.com

You can listen to Sammy and explore some of his music at: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x20zvy_burgundy-street-blues-sammy-rimingt_music

"Eyes on the Master" - portrait of Sammy in duet with rising star Amy Roberts.

Hand signed, fine art prints of the Art & Verse jazz portrait of Amy and Sammy can be purchased in two sizes:

A4 (297x210mm) £29.00
A3 (420x297mm) £39.00

A Certificate of Authenticity is issued with each print. If you would like to purchase a print or an original acrylic portrait or to commission a portrait, please email me at: [email protected]