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Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen w/ Horns
Cha Wa

Saturday, Mar 18, 2017 10:00 PM CDT (9:00 PM Doors)
Carver Theater, New Orleans, LA
21 years and over

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Jon Cleary

Beyond Cleary’s considerable skills as a tunesmith he is equally renowned around the globe as an accomplished keyboardist and guitarist, and a deeply soulful vocalist. Cleary’s thirty-five years of intensive hands-on work on the Crescent City scene has made him a respected peer of such New Orleans R&B icons as Dr. John and Allen Toussaint... 

...Such diversity similarly characterizes the essence of Jon Cleary’s work and career. While thoroughly steeped in the classic Crescent City keyboard canon – from Jelly Roll Morton to Fats Domino to Art Neville, James Booker, and beyond – Cleary uses that century’s worth of pianistic brilliance as a point of departure to forge his own unique and eclectic style. As heard in the widely varied grooves and textures of GoGo Juice, Cleary’s sound incorporates such far-flung influences as ‘70s soul, gospel music, funk, Afro-Caribbean (and especially Afro-Cuban) rhythms and more. “I love New Orleans R&B, “ Cleary explains.  “I’m a student of it – and a fan, first and foremost.  But there’s little point in just going back and re-recording the old songs – although on my live solo shows, especially in New Orleans, I make a point of trying to keep the fast- disappearing tradition of the R&B pianist/singer alive by playing the old songs that are in danger of being forgotten. As for recording, however, I think the greatest New Orleans R&B records are the ones that built on what went before but also added something new. By writing new songs you get to channel all the music you absorb through your own individual set of filters – and the fun is in seeing what emerges.”

Cha Wa    

The infectious music and dazzling stage show of Cha Wa has been described as “funk with feathers” – a sound rooted in traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian music mixed with funk and soul, creating a non-stop groove machine. See the HBO series “Treme” for more details on the culture of Mardi Gras Indians, whose history dates in the Crescent City dates from 1885. Cha Wa, meaning “We’re coming for ya!” is a slang phrase used by every Mardi Gras Indian tribe. The band features legendary Mardi Gras Indians Irving “Honey” Banister and J’Wan Boudreaux on vocals and Kerry “Boom Boom” Vessell on bass drum, along with New Orleans music veterans Joe Gelini on drum set, John Fohl on guitar, Bill Richards on bass, and Steve Malinowski on organ.

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself on the corner of Second and Dryades on Mardi Gras Day, you will hear “Cha Wa” chanted in celebration throughout the streets. Cha Wa brings the New Orleans Second Line parade to the stage. Make sure to put on your dancing shoes!

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