Grammy-Winning New Orleans Pianist Jon Cleary Announces ‘Live at Chickie Wah Wah,’ Summer Touring in June and July

This month New Orleans R&B/funk multi-instrumentalist and Grammy winner Jon Cleary releases his new Live at Chickie Wah Wah on FHQ Records and will tour in June and July in support of the album. While better known internationally for the funk of his band, The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Cleary is one of the few keeping alive the tradition of New Orleans-style piano and voice, and his regular Tuesday night shows at Chickie Wah Wah have become a favorite of both locals and visiting music lovers alike. This new release, his first solo outing, is a simple recording of a New Orleans rhythm and blues piano player at work. He breathes new life into the songs he learned as a kid as a sideman in the bands of Earl King, Jessie Hill, and Snooks Eaglin amongst others and also features a selection of his frequently requested self-penned tunes. Cleary is in his element when he sits down at the piano and fills the room with the syncopated sounds of the music he loves.

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.

Born in England and bred in New Orleans, Jon Cleary is a triple threat, combining soulful vocals, masterful piano skills, and a knack for composing infectious grooves with melodic hooks and sharp lyrics. Cleary has a long list of recording credits with Bonnie Raitt, John Scofield, Ryan Adams, Keb Mo, Taj Mahal and India Arie.

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”, Cleary’s most recent full band album, for which he earned a Grammy last year.

“This is Jon Cleary’s first solo piano album. Since Jon is as good as anyone at performing the New Orleans R&B/funk songbook, people have been waiting eons for this. As wonderful as his band the Monster Gentlemen are the intimacy of a man and his piano is special. His knowledge of R&B, funk, gospel, reggae, Cuban music—no one connects New Orleans to Cuba more suavely—and boogie-woogie is profound, leading to a splendid rhythmic freedom. And his fantastic voice, a more conventionally beautiful one than his idols’, is full of melismatic invention and fervor.” Offbeat Magazine

Jon Cleary Live
JUN 6 TUE Chickie Wah Wah New Orleans, LA
JUN 8 THU d.b.a. New Orleans, LA
JUN 13 TUE Chickie Wah Wah New Orleans, LA
JUN 15 THU d.b.a. New Orleans, LA
JUN 17 SAT Chickie Wah Wah New Orleans, LA
JUN 21 WED Bar Lunatico Brooklyn, NY
JUN 22 THU Infinity Music Hall Norfolk, CT
JUN 23 FRI The Ardmore Music Hall Ardmore, PA
JUN 24 SAT Bayou Boogaloo Norfolk, VA
JUN 26 MON City Winery Nashville, TN
JUN 27 TUE City Winery Atlanta, GA
JUL 1 SAT JazzAscona Ascona, Switzerland
JUL 2 SUN Montreux Jazz Festival Montreux, Switzerland
JUL 4 TUE Villa in Blues Festival Brugnera, Italy
JUL 6 THU Spotorno Town Square Spotorno, Italy
JUL 8 SAT North Sea Jazz Fest Rotterdam, Netherlands
JUL 9 SUN Copenhagen Jazz Festival Copenhagen, Denmark
JUL 11 TUE Band on the Wall Manchester, United Kingdom
JUL 12 WED Liverpool Music Club Liverpool, United Kingdom
JUL 13 THU Kensington, UK Nells Jazz & Blues
JUL 14 FRI Colston Hall Bristol, United Kingdom
JUL 15 SAT Peer Blues Festival Peer, Belgium
JUL 16 SUN Big River Festival Dordrecht, Netherlands
JUL 19 WED Castle Courtyard Koniz, Switzerland
JUL 20 THU Jazztage Lenk Lenk in Simmental, Switzerland
JUL 21 FRI Scala Ludwigsburg Ludwigsburg, Germany
JUL 29 SAT Cambridge Folk Festival Cambridge, UK
JUL 30 SUN Cambridge Folk Festival Cambridge, UK
AUG 3 THU The Livingston Hoot Livingston, MT
AUG 6 SUN Blues on the Chippewa Maiden Rock, WI
AUG 18 FRI SPACE Evanston, IL
SEP 20 WED Bull Run Shirley, MA
SEP 21 THU Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield, CT
SEP 23 SAT Levon Helm Studios Woodstock, NY

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