John Papa Gros

More Ideas Than You Need

When I'm coming out of the shower or driving in the car, if a musical idea came into my head, I would immediately sing and record it into my phone. If I'm sitting at the piano and happened across something, good or bad, I recorded it. I learned from Allen Toussaint...

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Different Instruments

When songwriting, I write using various instruments: piano, organ, guitar, bass or voice. Each instrument brings something different out of me.

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Exploring Songs Live

It's fun exploring songs live. They have to live and breathe every time. We can't just play them by rote. The search to find new ways to make them fresh each and every night is a reward in itself.

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Taking New Orleans On The Road

I try to take the social and cultural legacy of our local New Orleans tradition on the road with me, every place I go. To demonstrate through songcraft: this is who we are, this is what we do, this is why we do it.

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Music Is Everywhere

You can't escape it here. Birthday parties. Funerals. Family gatherings. Mardi Gras. You name it, there's always music circling around whatever we're doing in New Orleans.

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A Bit Of Reggae

One of my favorite performers is Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals. I spent a week playing in Jamaica and came home singing a reggae bass melody for a week. I figured I better make a song out of it before I forgot it. So I did. “Why’d Ya Do It?” on the album...

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Contributors

It is a lot of fun playing my music with guys who are into what I'm doing. They want to contribute to it. They want to be a part of it. They're not just doing it to punch a clock.

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The Long Haul

I’m doing the best I can to play as many cities as financially possible. The struggle is real. The good news is, I’m in it for the long haul. Which means, I’ll get there eventually.

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The City Saved My Soul

How has New Orleans music saved my soul? It's given me a purpose. There's such a tradition of New Orleans music. I'm just carrying on and trying to uphold this legendary, historic tradition that changed the world. Louis Armstrong changed the world with his trumpet and...

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