John Papa Gros
Do What You Do Best

Do What You Do Best

After college, I was very much into the New Orleans funk thing. But all I was playing was wedding & tuxedo high-society gigs, where you played a little of this and a little of that - some jazz, some dance music, and then you went home. I was doing well and making...

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My First Instrument

My First Instrument

When songwriting, I write using various instruments: piano, organ, guitar, bass or voice. Each instrument brings something different out of me. Since I'm not very proficient at either, writing on guitar and bass forces me to keep things very simple. Composing at the...

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Yeah Yeah Yeah

Yeah Yeah Yeah

"Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" is a song written to honor Huey "Piano" Smith, the famous early New Orleans rock 'n' roll artist, pianist, songwriter and bandleader. Huey wrote the timeless songs "Rockin' Pneumonia" and "Sea Cruise". Huey Smith and the Clowns were the house band...

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What Draws People To New Orleans

New Orleans is not a pop culture. We're an indigenous, Jazz, R&B, funk, roots culture. Our music, food and culture is alive and breathing today. And that's why people want to come to New Orleans, because they can't experience what we have in their own home town.

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Lost In The Moment

Lost In The Moment

The older I get, the easier it is to get lost in the moment during a show. By opening yourself to it, you invite your band mates and the audience to join in. They leave a lasting emotional impact. It’s another reason why people come back for more.

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The Central Force In My Music

The Central Force In My Music

New Orleans as a city and a culture is the central force in my music. It is the sound that shaped my childhood memories of family celebrations. I have been hearing the sounds and rhythms of Fats Domino, Dr. John and the Meters since I was a young boy. So when I began...

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The Key Questions

The Key Questions

I evaluate myself by asking: Do I like what I am writing and playing?Does it represent me?Does it represent my family?Does it represent New Orleans? Those are the only questions. It's really that simple.

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Adding To The Tool Belt

Adding To The Tool Belt

George Porter says, by learning a new song, you acquire new tools to put in your tool belt. Then at the next gig you learn something else and add that to your tool belt. So when you are fifteen, twenty years down the road, you have a full tool belt to work with. The...

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Adding To My Music Vocabulary

Adding To My Music Vocabulary

Musically, what's challenging to me right now is to just stay fresh by adding something new to my vocabulary. It can be very small and very simple. It doesn't have to be anything complex or a reinvention of the wheel. Just something that keeps me engaged and excited...

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