John Gros

Idle Monday nights led to a full-time gig for John "Papa" Gros. In 2000, the keyboardist worked steadily as a member of George Porter Jr.'s band, co-leader of the rock band MuleBone and as a solo act on Bourbon Street. To fill his open Monday nights he launched an informal New Orleans funk project, Papa Grows Funk, at a weekly residency at the Old Point Bar, later moved to the Maple Leaf. Papa Grows Funk is now Gros' main gig, with three CDs — 2001's Doin' It, 2003's Shakin', and 2008's Live at the Leaf -- and 200 shows annually on a touring circuit that extends from coast to coast and to Europe and Japan.