John Papa Gros

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

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

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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You Can Never Take A Day Off

If you want to contribute to the New Orleans music tradition, then you can never take a day off. If your goal is set high, the bar is set even higher by the "greats" who came before you. You'll never get there if you don't put the time in. You'll never have a chance....

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My Calling

Playing music is what I love to do. It doesn't matter what room I’m in, how big the stage, or who I’m playing to. I go through all the hoops, all the headaches, to do what I do, because I get so much out of it. It’s my calling. It's what I am supposed to do.

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Offering Hope

There are a couple songs that Allen Toussaint wrote where he'd have a certain, uplifting chord at the end. I remember asking him one time, "Why'd you choose that chord?" He said, "That offers hope. We could all use some hope."

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I Can't Believe I'm Playing Tipitina's Friday, April 2nd John "Papa" Gros TRIO with Matt Booth & Russ Broussard Live at Tipitina's! Two Shows: 7pm & 9:30pm Early show tickets Late show: tickets After 13 months and 31 GroSTREAMS, I am finally playing an indoor...

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On The Record

Talking with "On The Record" about creating music, music education, and strangely enough... the sound of a cow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8I1RE2PbbA

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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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Songwriting With The Piano

Before "River’s on Fire", it had been a long time since I had done any songwriting on the piano. Previously, I had done most of my songwriting on guitar. I found that it forced me to focus on simpler chord choices and arrangements. The piano allows me the luxury to...

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