A Night in New Orleans
Thursday, October 2, 2008; 7:30 pm
MCLA's Church Street Center
Straight from New Orlean's favorite club - the Maple Leaf Bar and Grill - come three of the city's finest and funkiest; Papa Grows Funk, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, and Joe Krown. These musicians will come together for one night in a celebration of the crescent city and its signature sounds. It's a Mardi Gras style kick off for the new MCLA Presents! season and the start of a new year at MCLA.
Papa Grows Funk's tight grooves re-define the funk-jam band. Tethered by the slinky Hammond B3 and gravel pit vocals of bandleader John "Papa" Gros, the band is a "who's-who" of New Orleans' best musicians. Morphing guitarist June Yamagishi is an original member of Japan's first blues combo, The West Road Blues Band and has inspired two documentaries entitled "June Yamagishi in New Orleans" from his native Japan. Saxophonist Jason "Big Wind" Mingledorff cleanly articulates the knee-dropping funk sustained by bassist Marc Pero and Jeffrey "Jellybean" Alexander.
Influenced by The Meters, Dr. John and The Neville Brothers, Papa Grows Funk parcels it out New Orleans-style, paying homage to the tradition through Gros' sparse but rhythmic style offset by Yamagishi's blazing guitar. One is treated to a booty shaking set of Mardi Gras funk, original material, improvised jams and fresh interpretations of New Orleans classics. These five musicians seamlessly shift gears while never losing the essential groove.
Walter "Wolfman" Washington has been an icon on the New Orleans music scene for decades. His searing guitar work and soulful vocals have defined the Crescent City's unique musical hybrid of R&B, funk and the blues since he formed his first band in the 1970s.
Seeing Walter "Wolfman" Washington perform with his current outfit, the Roadmasters, is akin to taking a history lesson on black music in America with the exception that sitting down and taking notes is not an option. With his breadth of experience and seemingly endless repertoire, each of his highly danceable shows is one-of-a-kind. Like the greatest jazzmen, Washington channels his everyday life into his music. Depending on the setting, the band plays the blues, R&B, soul, funk, jazz and everything in between with pure heart.
Joe Krown moved to New Orleans in 1992 after honing his keyboard skills in the Northeast. Since that time, he has built a strong reputation as first-call organist and pianist in the Crescent City.
"Krown's playing chops certainly command respect... if you're looking for a B-3 organ blues with soul, the Joe Krown Organ Combo has it in spades." - Scott Jordan, Gambit Weekly (New Orleans)
To buy tickets, call 413.662.5204.
To become a member and support this great work, call 413.662.5224.
For more information, call 413.664.8718.