Jon Cleary – New Orleans’ Piano Wizard
Magic happens when 2016 Grammy Winner Jon Cleary brings his soulful vocals, masterful piano skills, and infectious grooves with melodic hooks and sharp lyrics back to Denver for his second appearance at Baur’s in the Listening Lounge. Music fans can expect a soulful experience of jazz, funk, and R&B intertwined with stories from the New Orleans’ Piano Wizard appearing solo in a very special performance at the keys of Baurs’ Steinway.
With the release of GoGo Juice on FHQ Records, New Orleans funk master Jon Cleary returns to the hard driving, soulful, and funky pop tunes that have brought him critical acclaim since his 1999 album Moonburn. 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. Toussaint, in fact, took time from his busy schedule to write most of the horn arrangements for GoGo Juice. In addition to the Toussaint touch, GoGo Juice bursts, full flavor, with expert accompaniment by some of New Orleans’ top session men – including fellow keyboardist and vocalist Nigel Hall, and the Dirty Dozen horns – along with members of Cleary’s band, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, and the veteran production skills of Grammy Award-winning producer John Porter.
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. “I love New Orleans R&B, “ Cleary explains. “I’m a fan, first and foremost. But there’s little point in just going back and re-recording the old songs. 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 comes out. Funk is the ethnic folk music of New Orleans, and I wanted to infuse this album with a sound that was true to the city I love”.
Music Appreciation Society invites you, your friends, and family to join us for this rare, solo concert by Jon Cleary. Masterfully performing his expression of New Orleans funk-filled artistic vision… Real music played real good!
Thursday, March 24 :: 8PM
Jon Cleary :: New Orleans’ Piano Wizard
Baur’s Listening Lounge
Dinner Reservations: 303-615-4000
1512 Curtis Street
“Cleary plays piano as if he’s revving up an engine and sings as if a line drawing of his behatted self were next to “soul” in Webster’s.” – The Washington Post
“Cleary can be an absolute monster on his own, but Cleary’s full combo R&B is as broad, deep and roiling as the Mississippi river, the combined swinging product of local keyboard tradition, Cleary’s vocal-songwriting flair for moody Seventies soul and the spunky-Meters roll of his Gentlemen.” – Rolling Stone
“GoGo Juice is his eighth album, another expert mix of strutting party-starters and beseeching soul anthems, sung in an agreeably raspy voice…” –Nate Chinen, NY Times
“Cleary has a jazz-R&B-funk sound all of his own, mixing in his own blend of musical spices, a fitting testament and vibrant tribute to [New Orleans] as you’re ever likely to hear.” – Ronnie Scotts, Blues and Soul
“Cleary projects a distinctive, whiskey and caffeine laced voice perfect for his hot sauce combination of jazz, funk, rhythm and blues and soul…” – Hal Horowitz, American Songwriter
“Jon Cleary is the ninth wonder of the world.” – Bonnie Raitt