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John Cleary New Orleans Celebration of Jazz & Blues
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John Cleary 

New Orleans Celebration of Jazz & Blues

Jon Cleary was born in London in 1962… not the first line you expect in a bio about a New Orleans piano great, is it? Not only that, but he’s a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, arranger and producer, as well. Guitar was his first love, starting in England at age 5, moving on to performing at 11 and graduating to working as a musician at 14.

At age 16 he formed ‘Delta Wing’ with renowned blues slide guitarist Roger Hubbard.

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.   

His mastery of the New Orleans style landed him gigs playing as a session musician in the bands of local legends Earl King, Johnny Adams, Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington, Snooks Eaglin, Ernie K-Doe, Jessie Hill and as a guitarist for Mac Rebennack (Dr John).

‘Listen, we got a guy by the name of Johnny Cleary who’s been livin’ in N’awlins for a long time. He’s got the spirit. You can’t beat that.’  - Dr. John

‘I love playing with Jon Cleary, he’s the real deal.’  -Taj Mahal

‘Cleary is the 8th wonder of the world.’   – Bonnie Raitt

Jon Cleary

Jon Cleary

26 Aug 2024 15:00 - 17:00

A Celebration of New Orleans Jazz & Blues at St Mary's Church