John Papa Gros

Soak In The Sounds

You kind of get the New Orleans sound by osmosis. You're at the Mardi Gras parade; you're 5 years old, you're catching beads. You're not paying attention to the sounds of the rhythm, but yet, they're there. When the marching bands are rolling through, the drums are...

read more

Music Challenges

My dad played piano, so there was always a piano at the house. I was in a band in 4th grade and had friends back then that are still close friends now — we were all into music. We all took piano lessons. We all loved the same styles of music. We got into high school...

read more

The Commitment

I call my Hammond B3 organ “The Commitment.” I bought it about a year (maybe two years) after I bought my first brand new car, a Honda Civic Hatchback. I could pack all my keyboards, speakers, really my entire rig in that car. My two daughters were young at the time...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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...

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

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...

read more