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Denver Jazz Musician All Too Familiar with Devastating Effects from a Hurricane

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Denver jazz musician Henry Butler this weekend called friends who live in his old hometown of New Orleans, checking on how they were as Hurricane Gustav bore down upon the Gulf Coast.

Some were getting ready to evacuate. Some planned to ride it out. They are all in his thoughts, said Butler, who lost his home, his recording studio and his piano three years ago in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“I feel so sorry the people who are still living there and having to get out again for another serious storm," Butler said Sunday in a phone call from Eureka, Ca., where he had been performing at a jazz festival.

“My heart goes out to all the people, those who have left and those who are staying," he said. “I'm hoping that those who have chosen to stay are right and that the storm won't affect the community as much. I don't think I would do that, but it's certainly their choice."

A New Orleans native, Butler moved in 1996 to the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans, to a home that was just three blocks from where a canal broke and just a mile from where one of the levees broke.

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