"...pronounced "Gro" with a silent "s"...

"Central City is John “Papa” Gros’ love letter to his home town, New Orleans." - Ink19.com

"Think of Central City as a feel-good drug that doesn’t require any prescription" - Americana Highways

“Gros is steeped in New Orleans music tradition, standing at the intersection of funk, R&B, soul and Americana music.” - NOLA.com

The tradition of NOLA piano greats lives on through John 'Papa' Gros." - Glide Magazine

"Central City is the soundtrack to any New Orleans party from Carnival Ball to Crawfish Boil.”

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“John “Papa” Gros is a bedrock New Orleans artist, a keyboardist, singer and songwriter who draws on funk, rhythm & blues and Americana songcraft; he also knows his way around the Mardi Gras music repertoire about as well as anyone.” – Keith Spera The New Orleans Advocate

Latest News

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" 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

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

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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