Live Stream Archive
John Papa Gros
Born in New Orleans, John “Papa” Gros has spent more than a quarter-century championing the music of the Big Easy. He’s played it all — New Orleans funk, rock & roll, jazz, blues, Americana, pop/rock — and he swirls those styles into a genre-bending gumbo that pays tribute to his influences while still pushing ahead into new territory. Like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John, Gros is a proud local who carries on the tradition of New Orleans music, both honoring its past and helping to shape its future.
After kicking off his career as an organist and pianist, for George Porter Jr.’s Runnin’ Pardners, during the 1990s, Gros formed the funk group Papa Grows Funk in 2000. The band held down a weekly performance at the famous Maple Leaf Bar for 13 years, mixing the smooth sophistication of a jazz quintet with the wild, anything-goes spirit of Mardi Gras. Fans and tourists crowded the bar every Monday night, looking for Papa Grows Funk to dish out a greasy, groove-heavy serving of Big Easy funk. The band delivered, releasing six critically-acclaimed albums — including Needle in the Groove, which was co-produced by Nola legend Allen Toussaint, and a 2015 live record that captured Papa Grows Funk’s last Monday night at the Maple Leaf Bar.— and touring around the world, carrying the torch of New Orleans’ music scene to far-flung places.
Papa Grows Funk called it quits in 2013. Gros (pronounced “grow”) kept playing music, landing work as a sideman for many Nola artists — including Better Than Ezra, Anders Osborne, The Metermen, Raw Oyster Cult, and Bonerama— and playing organ during a pair of all-star tributes to Dr. John and the Neville Brothers. Finally, Gros began focusing once again on his solo career — which he’d kicked off in 2004 with the album Day’s End — by prepping a second solo record that focuses on the full range of his musical influences and abilities.
He’s been a sideman. A bandleader. A frontman. A solo artist. A singer. An instrumentalist. The roles have been varied, but the goal remains the same: to honor the music he’s been living his whole life, and to add his own page to New Orleans’ history book.
From folk to funk! Original songs and jams to original takes on a variety of covers, is what you will hear at one of Derick Howard’s shows!
He performs solo as a “One Man Jam Band” by using an audio sampler to record (Live) loop tracks on his guitar, bass, hand percussion, and vocals to make the sound of a full band.
This “One Man Jam Band” has performed official after parties for acts like Robert Randolf, Victor Wooten, and The Wailers. He has opened up for acts like Gov’t Mule, Eoto, Ekoostik Hookah, Future Rock, and Zach Deputy. He has performed along side acts such as Michael Franti, Keller Williams, The Dark Star Orchestra, Arrested Development, and has performed at festivals including Hyperion(IN)x3, MojoStock(IN), Wuhnurth(IN), Terrapin Hill Harvest Fest(KY), Snuggleween(KY)x2, Hoodilidoo(MI)x2, Resonance(OH)(x2), Tribal Connection(OH)x2, Hoopla In The Hills(OH)x3, Hookahville(OH)x7, multiple different performance art fests(Kinetic Fire(OH)x3, Flow Motion(IN), Flow Down(IN-IL)x2, So. Ill. Flow(IL), and at Good People Good Times Music Festival of which Derick puts on and has headlined along with acts like Turbo Suit, The Main Squeeze, Ekoostik Hookah, Rumpke Mountain Boys, and UV Hippo.
Derick has performed at all types of events and venues besides festivals and official after parties. From The Hard Rock Cafe’s in Chicago and Louisville to restaurants like Apple Bee’s, Texas Roadhouse, Max & Erma’s, and over a dozen locations of the Jimmy Buffet chain Cheeseburger In Paradise. As well as many private events and public events for universities like I.U. and Ball State. Derick has also performed many benefits such as The Relay For Life, The MS Walk, Rock For Riley, and community fundraisers.
Although he performs mainly around the Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky area, he has performed as far east as Maryland, as far south as Miami, FL., and as far west as California.