Jon Cleary's Alchemy of the Groove

Apr 25, 2013

Jon Cleary on Music Inside Out.
Credit larrybobsf / Flickr

This week, we bring you that funky gentleman in the Ninth Ward, Jon Cleary, who  joins us to talk about his native England, his grandmother, the piano back home, his mother's songwriting chops, and a variety of other loves.

Cleary grew up listening to New Orleans soul, R&B and funk. And now, we listen to him.

As a mulit-instrumentalist and sideman, he's played with some of the best artists, including Earl King, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Snooks Eaglin, Ernie K-Doe and Walter "Wolfman" Washington. But Cleary is even better fronting his own band and digging into his own groove.

Mavis Staples might have said it best: "Get out the way and let the gentleman do his thing."   

To connect with Jon Cleary, visit the Music Inside Out website


Here's an excerpt from Robert Mugge's 2006 documentary New Orleans Music in Exile, featuring Jon Cleary's brief history of New Orleans piano.


For a print version of the complete playlist, visit