JOHN PAPA GROS

John Papa Gros performing at Cafe Eleven

Feb 16, 2018

8:30pm

with special guest JW Gilmore and The Blues Authority

The Original Cafe Eleven

 St. Augustine Beach, FL

$15 advance / $20 day of show

General Admission Seated Show

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Born in New Orleans, John "Papa" Gros has spent more than a quarter-century championing the music of the Big Easy. He's played it all — New Orleans funk, rock & roll, jazz, blues, Americana, pop/rock — and he swirls those styles into a genre-bending gumbo that pays tribute to his influences while still pushing ahead into new territory. Like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John, Gros is a proud local who carries on the tradition of New Orleans music, both honoring its past and helping to shape its future.

After kicking off his career as an organist and pianist, for George Porter Jr.’s Runnin’ Pardners, during the 1990s, Gros formed the funk group Papa Grows Funk in 2000. The band held down a weekly performance at the famous Maple Leaf Bar for 13 years, mixing the smooth sophistication of a jazz quintet with the wild, anything-goes spirit of Mardi Gras. Fans and tourists crowded the bar every Monday night, looking for Papa Grows Funk to dish out a greasy, groove-heavy serving of Big Easy funk. The band delivered, releasing six critically-acclaimed albums — including Needle in the Groove, which was co-produced by Nola legend Allen Toussaint, and a 2015 live record that captured Papa Grows Funk’s last Monday night at the Maple Leaf Bar.— and touring around the world, carrying the torch of New Orleans' music scene to far-flung places.

Papa Grows Funk called it quits in 2013. Gros (pronounced "grow") kept playing music, landing work as a sideman for many Nola artists — including Better Than Ezra, Anders Osborne, The Metermen, Raw Oyster Cult, and Bonerama— and playing organ during a pair of all-star tributes to Dr. John and the Neville Brothers. Finally, Gros began focusing once again on his solo career — which he'd kicked off in 2004 with the album Day's End — by prepping a second solo record that focuses on the full range of his musical influences and abilities.

He's been a sideman. A bandleader. A frontman. A solo artist. A singer. An instrumentalist. The roles have been varied, but the goal remains the same: to honor the music he's been living his whole life, and to add his own page to New Orleans' history book.

 


JW Gilmore and The Blues Authority

JWGilmore

   

JW Gilmore is a master storyteller, a demon on the harp, a well-versed musician and, above all, a showman extraordinaire.  From slow dirty blues to frenetic swing, JW keeps audiences laughing, smiling and dancing into the night.  He has been playing harmonica for over 20 years, from Baton Rouge to Ft. Lauderdale, playing with greats like Tabby Thomas, Chris Thomas King, Louisiana Red and Joey Gilmore.  He can be heard on the Blue Beat CD Blues From the Swamp by Tabby Thomas.  JW was also a regular on the South Florida blues circuit, playing both coasts from Ft. Lauderdale to Naples, bringing his burning harp playing and his soulful song stylings to thousands of fans.  Seeing JW live is a true treat.   Part Muddy Waters, part James Brown, JW puts on an energetic entertaining show while keeping true to the roots of the music.  Just close your eyes and you can see him on a front porch spinning a yarn or in a small juke joint belting out the blues on a sweltering Mississippi summer night.  JW is a blues performer that takes to heart the legacy of the legendary bluesmen that have come before him.   He's much more Muddy than Stevie Ray, more Little Walter than Eric Clapton, he plays a pure blues rather than rock versions of blues classics.  Just like the great bluesmen, JW can surprise you with new tunes and old classics with new interpretations; with JW you just never know what to expect and that's half the fun.

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