Jon Cleary: Blending Blues, Funk and Soul

In the world of blues music, there are certain artists who don’t just perform and play tunes – they build masterpieces that stick around for generations. Among these artists is Jon Cleary and his band ‘The Absolute Monster Gentlemen’ – and guess what? They’re hitting up Blues on Broadbeach in just two weeks!

 

Jon Cleary is no stranger to the music scene. Originally a guitarist, Cleary began playing at age five, and started his own band at fifteen. With a career now stretching back for decades, he’s carved out his place as a true master of New Orleans-style piano and a gifted songwriter.

 

And the way he mixes up blues, funk, and soul? It’s refreshingly original. What’s even more impressive is that Cleary has collaborated with a diverse array of artists, ranging from blues legends like Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal to modern icons such as Eric Clapton.

His versatility and infectious energy have garnered him widespread acclaim throughout the industry. Leading his own band, ‘The Absolute Monster Gentleman,’ they have crafted and released six impressive albums. Among them, their album ‘Go Go Juice’ won a Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album in the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.


Mark your calendars for 16-19 May and get ready to witness Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen on stage!  In the meantime, we spoke with the man himself to discuss just what they have in store for us this May!

What can fans expect from your performance at Blues on Broadbeach, do you have anything special planned?

Fans can expect that rare pleasure of being lifted up by being in close proximity to musicians from New Orleans doing what they do – and doing it really well. 

 

We play a style of groove that has been passed down through the generations. Transforming and evolving for over a hundred years it has at its heart, funk and soul – with a premium on excellent musicianship. My band is comprised of the top players in the city, both artists and artisans. Brilliant players that can convey the spirit and soul. It’s the most powerful drug in the world – and, it’s good for you.

Who came up with the name ‘The Absolute Monster Gentlemen’ and what was the meaning behind it?

Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson came up with the name and I think it suits our style perfectly. What we do is cultured and elegant but in a monstrous sort of way. It’s rough and dirty but sophisticated and elegant.

The fans are super excited to see you back in Australia, how does it feel to bring the vibe and energy of New Orleans all around the world?

We tour constantly around the globe, playing to both long-time fans and people who are hearing our style of Creole New Orleans r’n’b and funk for the first time. It’s a joy to see how every night the sound of this joyful music never fails. It lights up a room and plugs a voltage direct into the hearts and minds, feet and hips. We’re cultural ambassadors of New Orleans, our little port city here on the Mississippi river at the Gulf of Mexico and we get as much of a kick out of the grooves as everyone else!

Performing at Victoria Park on Sunday 19 May from 7.30pm, be sure to download the official festival app to add Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen to your personal schedule! 

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