John Gros

Born in New Orleans, John Papa Gros (pronounced grow) has spent more than a quarter-century championing the music of the Big Easy. He's played it all New Orleans funk, rock roll, jazz, blues, Americana, pop/rock and he swirls thoseemstyles into a genre-bending gumbo that pays tribute to his influences while still pushing ahead into new territory. Like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John, Gros is a proud local who carries on the tradition of New Orleans music, both honoring its past and helping to shape its future. After kicking off his career as an organist and pianist, for George Porter Jr. Runnin Pardners, during the 1990s, Gros formed the funk group Papa Grows Funk in 2000. For 13 years, the band performed every Monday night at the Maple Leaf Bar, delivering greasy, groove-heavy Big Easy funk, while with releasing six criticallyacclaimed albums and touring the world, carrying theiR&Brand of New Orleans' music to far-flung places. Papa Grows Funk called it quits in 2013. Gros resumed is role as a top sid an for many Nola artists including Better Than Ezra, Little Feat, Anders Osborne, The Metermen, The funky Meters, and The Neville Brothers. Finally, Gros began focusing once again on songwriting and his solo career which he'd kicked off in 2004 with the album Day's End by prepping a second solo record that focuses on the full range of his musical influences and abilities. Thus River on Fire was born in 2016. River on Fire finds John shifting his songwriting focus back to the instrument that started his lifelong musical journey - the piano. The album reaches far beyond Papa Grows Funk groove-based sound and offers listeners a bit of everything party songs, funk grooves, upbeat rockers and Americana singer/songwriteR&Ballads. Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, New Orleans legendary music creator and Gros mentor, Allen Toussaint, describes John as an instrument of New Orleans music at it best. I was paying homage to Allen in every song, be it subtle hints oR&Blatant highway robbery, admits Gros. It all coming together in the right place, at the right time. As a sid an, Ive worn a lot of different musical hats, he says. With River on Fire and the new solo band, I am all about rediscovering who I am, bracing my different sides and blending it together into one package. Throughout it all, the goal r ains the same: to honor the music he's been living his whole life, and to add his own page to New Orleans' history book.