“Gros is a bedrock New Orleans artist” – The Advocate
For over three decades, John Papa Gros has brought the Crescent City’s celebratory culture to listeners around the globe. Gros mixes all the sounds of New Orleans – funk, trad jazz, brass band, blues – and makes it his own signature gumbo.
Gros began playing gigs when he was just fifteen but didn’t truly kick off his career until after graduating from Loyola in 1989 with a degree in French Horn performance. During the seminal years that followed, the young man cut his teeth as a solo performer on Bourbon Street while also developing a reputation as a formidable sideman. He backed up some of the biggest names in the Crescent City, such as Meters bassist George Porter Jr. and guitarist Snooks Eaglin. Studying under mentors decades his senior, Gros absorbed a lifetime of lessons in only a few years and quickly became part of the direct lineage of New Orleans music.
Between 2000 and 2013, Gros began his transition into the spotlight by leading Papa Grows Funk, a highly revered group that mixed hard-hitting funk grooves with often unpredictable jazz spontaneity. The group’s weekly gigs at the world-famous Maple Leaf became a staple for locals and tourists.
Gros’s most recent recording is his third solo album, 2020’s Central City. The album is a collection of classic New Orleans songs, both new and old, filtered through his decades of dedication to his craft. The album features Gros’ feel-good originals alongside his takes on beloved songs by Allen Toussaint, Lloyd Price, and John Prine.
LEARN MORE: https://johnpapagros.com/