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Jon Cleary

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A respected session and sideman, British blues pianist and composer Jon Cleary has worked with , , and artists like Bonnie Raitt, D’Angelo, Maria Muldaur, Taj Mahal, and Eric Clapton.

Originally a guitarist, Cleary began playing at age five, and started his first band at 15. Raised on , , and records, his love of blues and jazz in particular took him across the ocean after he graduated from art school.

Upon arriving in New Orleans, Cleary started hanging out at one of the city’s most storied venues — the Maple Leaf Club. The bar’s owner offered him a job painting the Maple Leaf’s exterior; free admission and beer were Cleary’s wages. He soaked up the bar’s atmosphere, realizing that blues piano was his calling; the house he lived in had a piano, on which he spent hours practicing each day.

Returning to London culminated in forming a six-piece traditional New Orleans R&B band, with which he developed a reputation as a talented and gentlemanly musician. However, the Big Easy called to Cleary again. He moved back and got bookings in clubs as a featured and side performer, playing with bluesmen like Smokey Johnson, James Singleton, and George Porter. One of these gigs included Walter “Wolfman” Washington in the audience; taken with Cleary’s playing, Washington offered Cleary a spot in his own band. Cleary played with Washington for two years, continuing his introduction to more sophisticated forms of R&B and blues, as well as incorporating Latin influences into his style.

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  • Ducharme88

    Piano beast!

    21 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Jowsantos

    I live in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil! And unfortunately here in my country in the habit of listening to good music is not common. Luckily he had a music festival that Jon Cleary presented itself, the guy had a lot! he's very good! listen for what it's worth!

    2 Dec 2010 Reply
  • PannaPhi

    got to be more careful. ♥

    2 Aug 2010 Reply
  • sarah988

    Got To Be More Careful makes you get in a mood :D

    2 Feb 2010 Reply
  • blabajif

    Wow. This is really cool. I think part of Got to Be More Careful was on an episode of house once.

    21 Mar 2009 Reply
  • Zauba

    Master of his instrument, I've seen him playing with John Scofield and let's say it began more Jon Cleary concert than John Scofield concert to me.

    26 Nov 2008 Reply
  • BluesRok

    At the group Blues Artist of the Week, you can vote for up to 5 artist for the title each week, and play some great blues games! Hope to see you there!

    20 Nov 2008 Reply
  • cherryeater987

    haha like all of his plays are from me this week.

    20 Sep 2008 Reply
  • Doris16

    Don't know much of Jon's music, but I love Got to be more careful.

    1 Sep 2008 Reply
  • bluecatman

    Saw JC & The AMG 2 days ago. Absolutely amazing.

    21 Jul 2008 Reply
  • gypsy_eyes1982

    great musician

    9 Dec 2007 Reply
  • BluesRok

    Jon Cleary is the funkiest British guy you'll ever hear!

    16 May 2007 Reply

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