picture of Jon Cleary
 

 
Jon Cleary
Jon’s love and affinity for New Orleans music goes back to the rural British village of Cranbrook, Kent, where he was raised in a musical family. His father taught him the rudiments as soon as he was big enough to reach around the neck of his guitar. When his uncle, musician Johnny Johnson, returned from a sojourn in New Orleans in the early 70’s and brought back two suitcases of rare and obscure local 45s, which allowed the adolescent Cleary to pursue his study of R&B in great depth, with special attention to the New Orleans sound that increasingly captivated him. As soon as he was old enough to leave school in 1980 Cleary took off for the Crescent City. When his flight touched down, a taxi took him straight to the Maple Leaf, a funky uptown bar which then featured such New Orleans piano legends as Roosevelt Sykes and James Booker. Jon got a job painting the club, and lived a few doors down for a time, allowing him unlimited free access to all the great New Orleans music performed within. One night when James Booker didn’t show up, the club’s manager insisted that Jon gets up and play before the paying customers demanded a refund. Thrust suddenly into the spotlight Jon was ready, willing and able to play his first paying gig in New Orleans – and although he had come to town as a guitarist, this debut was also the first step of his career as a pianist. Soon Cleary reached the existential crossroads of either devoting his life to the city’s music, or returning to England. Cleary chose New Orleans, and before long he began to land sideman gigs with the venerable likes of such New Orleans R&B legends (and his childhood heroes) as guitarists Snooks Eaglin, and Earl "Trick Bag" King, and singers Johnny Adams, and Jessie Hill. By 1989, Jon had recorded his first album of eight including the new GoGo Juice. His increasingly high-profile performances revealed a level of proficient versatility that led to recording sessions and international touring work – in an appropriately wide stylistic range – in the bands of Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Dr. John and, most notably, Bonnie Raitt. As a songwriter, he has written and co-written songs with and for Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal and the decade that he spent working with Raitt inspired her to unabashedly dub Cleary "the ninth wonder of the world." Jon left Bonnie Raitt’s band in 2009 to concentrate on his own music. And now, 35 years since he arrived in New Orleans, he has made an eloquent, definitive and future-classic artistic statement. "Funk is the ethnic folk music of New Orleans", Jon says, "and I wanted to infuse GoGo Juice with a sound that was true to the city I love. It's the kind of record that could only be made in New Orleans."
contact: info@impactartist.com
homepage: www.joncleary.com
on tour Click on the logo to see Jon's tour dates.

 

Discography
Dyna-Mite
FHQ Records FHQ008
recorded in New Orleans, LA/USA
Jon Cleary, Hammond B-3 organ, vocals, piano, guitar, bass, mandolin
Leo Nocentelli, guitar
Andrew Block, guitar
Calvin Turner, bass, percussion
AJ Hall, percussion
Jamison Ross, drums
Craig Klein, trombone
Charlie Halloran, trombone
Roderick Paulin, tenor sax
Ryan Zoidis, tenor sax
Eric Bloom, trumpet
Nigel Hall, Hammond B-3 organ
Shane Theriot, guitar
Damian Hand, tenor sax
Lee Badau, baritone sax

 
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