Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm CST
Returning as Musical Director for the evening will be George Porter, Jr. with performances by Irma Thomas, Deacon John, Jon Cleary, Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, Al “Lil Fats” Jackson, Charlie Gabriel, James Andrews, Stanton Moore, Tommy McLain, C.C. Adcock, and River Eckert.
Our “House Band” for the evening will include David Torkanowsky, Kyle Roussel, Chris Adkins, Terrence Houston, Roger Lewis, Tony Dagradi, Brad Walker, Tracy Griffin, Jeff Albert, Phillip Manuel, & Jolynda “Kiki” Chapman. The MC for the night will be Gwen Thompkins (Music Inside Out).
Antoine "Fats" Domino
A pioneer of rock ‘n roll music with a career spanning over five decades, Fats Domino produced 25 gold singles, sold more than 65 million records, and was a charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. John Lennon said “There wouldn’t have been a Beatles without Fats Domino” and Elvis described him as "the real king of rock 'n' roll." He loved his hometown New Orleans and always remained a humble man with a smile that lit up a room. His last public performance was at Tipitina’s in May 2007.
Huey “Piano” Smith
Huey “Piano” Smith, made far-reaching contributions to the New Orleans music scene as a songwriter, pianist, and producer. Smith taught himself to play boogie-woogie piano and was strongly influenced by the New Orleans master Professor Longhair. He performed at Tipitina’s in the late 1970s and early 1980s. His two-fisted keyboard style and rambunctious songs made a significant impact on rock and roll history. Dr. John credited him with “opening the door to funk, basically as we know it, in some ridiculously hip way, and putting it in the mainstream of the world’s music.”
Jon Cleary’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. Cleary’s maternal grandparents performed in London in the 1940s, under the respective stage names Sweet Dolly Daydream and Frank Neville, The Little Fellow With The Educated Feet – she as a singer, and he as a crooner and tap dancer.
As a teen Cleary grew increasingly interested in funk-infused music and discovered that three such songs that he particularly admired – LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” Robert Palmer’s version of “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley,” and Frankie Miller’s rendition of “Brickyard Blues” – were attributed to Allen Toussaint as either the songwriter, the producer, or both. Cleary’s knowledge of Toussaint’s work expanded significantly when his uncle returned home to the U.K., after a two-year sojourn in New Orleans, with a copy of a Toussaint LP and two suitcases full of New Orleans R&B 45s.
In 1981 Cleary flew to New Orleans for an initial pilgrimage and took a cab straight from the airport to the Maple Leaf Bar, a storied venue which then featured such great blues-rooted eclectic pianists as Roosevelt Sykes and James Booker. Cleary first worked at the Maple Leaf as a painter, but soon graduated to playing piano there – even though his first instrument was the guitar, which he still plays and has recently reintroduced into his live performances.
As word of Cleary’s burgeoning talent began to spread around town, he was hired by such New Orleans R&B legends as Snooks Eaglin, Earl “Trick Bag” King, Johnny Adams, and Jessie “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” Hill, while also gaining the respect of the great Crescent City pianists Dr. John and the late Allen Toussaint. Years later, in 2012, Cleary recorded a critically acclaimed album of all-Toussaint songs entitled Occapella.
Today, Cleary’s work pays obvious homage to the classic Crescent City keyboard repertoire created by such icons as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Dr. John, and James Booker – while also using it as a launching pad for a style that incorporates such other diverse influences as ’70s soul and R&B, gospel music, funk, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Cuban rhythms, and much more.
Deciding to stay in New Orleans, Cleary recorded his first album of nine, to date, in 1989. His ever-elevating profile led to global touring work in the bands of Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Dr. John, and Bonnie Raitt. Cleary has led his own group, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, for over two decades now, but he still collaborates frequently with these old friends. At the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, for instance, Cleary performed alongside Raitt in a heartfelt tribute to Fats Domino.
Stanton Moore is a GRAMMY award-winning drummer, educator and performer born and raised in New Orleans. He is especially connected to his hometown city, its culture and collaborative spirit. In the early ‘90s, Moore helped found the New Orleans-based essential funk band Galactic who continue to amass a worldwide audience via recording and touring globally. The band has averaged 100 shows a year for the last 25 years.
In 2018, Moore and his bandmates in Galactic pooled their resources to purchase the internationally renowned music venue Tipitina’s.
Moore launched his solo career in 1998. He has 8 records under his own name with the most current being "With You In Mind: The Songs of Allen Toussaint".
Throughout his 25 year career, Moore has played and or recorded with a diverse group of artists including Maceo Parker, Joss Stone, Irma Thomas, Leo Nocentelli and George Porter (of the Meters),Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine), Corrosion of Conformity, Donald Harrison Jr., Nicholas Payton, Trombone Shorty, Skerik, Charlie Hunter, Robert Walter, Will Bernard, Ivan Neville, Anders Osborne and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
He has also appeared numerous times on the Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'brien and Seth Meyers late night TV night shows.
With a bachelor’s degree in music and business from Loyola University, Moore stays involved in education by constantly presenting clinics and teaching master classes and private lessons all over the world. He has released two books and three video projects. His book Groove Alchemy was picked by Modern Drummer as one of the top 25 instructional drum books of all time. To continue with his passion for teaching and to become more closely connected with his students, he recently launched his own online drum academy, StantonMooreDrumAcademy.com.
Brad Walker is one of the most active and sought-after performers in the city of New Orleans. Perhaps best known for his “soaring” (Rolling Stone), “energetic” (NPR), and “tasteful” (Relix) solos on Saturday Night Live, the Grammys, and the Tonight Show with Nashville mega-star Sturgill Simpson, Brad Walker is an active and compelling artist in his own right, with five full-length releases under his own name and a decade of music- making in the Crescent City under his belt. His 2014 debut, ‘Quintet’, received a 4-**** review in DownBeat magazine, and his playing has received praise in Variety, OffBeat Magazine, Gambit Weekly, Dig!, and many others.
Since 2009 Walker has performed or recorded with such luminaries as Bernard Purdie, Peter Erskine, John Riley, George Porter, Jr., Zigaboo Modeliste, Anders Osborne, Marcia Ball, Rickie Lee Jones, Valerie June, Better than Ezra, and countless others, and has led the horn sections for Grammy-winner Sturgille Simpson, Blues Award-winner Ana Popovic and OffBeat Award winners Eric Lindell, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Honey Island Swamp Band, and Colin Lake.
In 2019/2020, Walker was nominated for two ‘Best of the Beat’ Awards (OffBeat Magazine), in the ‘Contemporary Jazz’ category as ‘Best Artist’ and for ‘Best Record’, alongside such international stars as Nicholas Payton, Jon Batiste, Herlin Riley, Christian Scott, and Terence Blanchard. He was also nominated by the ‘Big Easy Awards’ (Gambit Magazine) for ‘Best Contemporary Jazz Artist’. These two award ceremonies are considered among the highest achievements in the New Orleans music community.
Brad holds a Bachelor of Music degree in classical saxophone performance (2006) and Master of Music degree in jazz studies (2011), both from Louisiana State University.
Jeff is an Associate Professor, and Director of the School of Music Industry and the School of Music & Theatre Arts, in the College of Music and Media at Loyola University New Orleans, and in May of 2013, he became the first graduate of the PhD program in Experimental Music and Digital Media at Louisiana State University, where his teachers included Stephen David Beck and Jesse Allison. He also holds degrees from Loyola University – New Orleans, and the University of New Orleans, and has served on the faculty of Xavier University of Louisiana and the University of New Orleans. Jeff’s areas of research include improvisation, performance paradigms for live computer music, and audio pedagogy. Jeff has given presentations at the conferences of the Society for ElectroAcoustic Music in the United States, the Symposium for Laptop Ensembles and Orchestras, the International Society for Improvised Music, the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium, and the inaugural Symposium on Integrated Composition Improvisation and Technology. His article “Improvisation as Tool and Intention: Organizational Approaches in Laptop Orchestras and Their Effect on Personal Musical Practices” was published December of 2012 in Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation.
George Porter Jr. founded The Meters in 1965 alongside Art Neville, Leo Nocentelli and Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste. Known as one of the progenitors of funk with Sly & The Family Stone and Parliament Funkadelic, The Meters carved their own place in history with syncopated polyrhythms and grooves inherited from New Orleans’ deep African musical roots. Porter’s heavy pockets and fat notes created the rubbery bass lines behind anthems like “Cissy Strut” off the group’s self-titled 1969 debut — The Meters’ greatest commercial single that reached No. 4 on the R&B chart and No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Meters became the house band for Allen Toussaint’s recording label and studio in New Orleans, backing records for Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Lee Dorsey, Earl King, Robert Palmer and Patty Labelle’s No. 1 hit, “Lady Marmalade”. They toured with the Rolling Stones and influenced everyone from Led Zeppelin and Bob Marley to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys. Porter’s rhythmic work with drummer Modeliste became the building block behind scores from hip-hop artists A Tribe Called Quest, Run DMC, N.W.A. and Queen Latifah, all of whom sampled The Meters.
The band broke up in 1977, after Toussaint claimed rights to the name, but reformed in the 1980s as the Funky Meters following an informal jam during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Porter went on to become a highly coveted session bassist. He notched studio sessions with David Byrne, Jimmy Buffet, Tori Amos and Taj Mahal; and live performances with John Scofield, Warren Haynes, members of the Grateful Dead and countless others.
Porter started his own long-term project, the Runnin’ Pardners, in 1990. The group’s studio releases include Funk This (2000) and Can’t Beat the Funk (2011), as well as live albums along the way. The current lineup features drummer Terrence “Groove Guardian” Houston, Michael Lemmler on keyboards and guitarist Chris Adkins.
In 2000, the original Meters lineup reunited for a one-night stand at the Warfield in San Francisco, and again in 2006 to headline Jazzfest in the wake of Katrina. The group sporadically performed as The Original Meters to elated crowds between 2012 and 2017. Art “Poppa Funk” Neville retired from performing in 2018 and passed away the following year. But the Meters’ music and their heritage of funk lives on in George Porter and his bandmates – past, present and future.
Born and raised in the Crescent City, Porter, now in his 70s, calls New Orleans home to this day.