Tonight (February 14), acclaimed pianist, vocalist and songwriter John “Papa” Gros will perform a special “Carnival Kickoff” concert at Tipitina’s, where he’ll be joined by Mark Mullins from Bonerama plus opener Erica Falls.
In celebration of his performance — as well as the recent news that in April he’ll release a new album, Central City — the veteran musician is premiering a new music video for “Mardi Gras.” The song itself, says Gros, is a celebration of “three of my favorite things to do on Mardi Gras Day: Watch Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles display his new suit, Second Line and stroll with the Saint Anne Society and catch throws at the parades.”
Featuring Rene Coman on bass, Herlin Riley on drums and tambourine, Bobby Campo on trumpet, Ward Smith on tenor and baritone saxophones and Rick Trolsen on trombone (plus background vocals from The Who Dat Harmonizers — Tracy Griffin, Ivan Neville, Donald Ramsey), “Mardi Gras” and its corresponding clip are an uptempo snapshot of the Carnival spirit enveloping New Orleans.
Click here to watch “Mardi Gras.”
For more than 30 years, Gros has celebrated New Orleans, and his April 17 album is the next iteration of the love he holds for the Crescent City. However, it also signifies some changes. “The old-fashioned vibes of Central City find Gros trading in the Hammond B3 for a Steinway Piano and immersing the songs in the rich sounds of horns, banjo and second line drumming,” says a press release. A collection of New Orleans party songs, the new album toasts Allen Toussaint, Lloyd Price and John Price.
“Central City is a departure from my other records in that it’s a return to my roots,” Gros says. “This is the tradition of New Orleans and the sounds I heard at every family celebration as a kid.”
For tickets to Gros’ February 14 show at Tip’s, click here. On February 23, he’ll perform in New Orleans again at John “Papa” Gros: Funk n Chant with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux at d.b.a.
More information about Central City and Gros’ upcoming tour dates can be seen here.