On Monday, December 14, Papa Grows Funk played at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans to open a series of WWOZ live broadcasts sponsored by the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living. This series promotes healthy environments for musicians, service staff, and listeners by encouraging clubs to ban smoking for an evening during the live broadcast.
Buckets of rain did not stop the Monday night crowds from getting down with Papa Grows Funk, which has had a long-standing Monday night gig at the Maple Leaf since 2001. Led by John "Papa" Gros (vocals, keys), they are a tight, all-star band of New Orleans musicians including June Yamagishi (guitar), Jason Mingledorff (sax), Marc Pero (bass), and "Jellybean" Alexander (drums).
The smoke-free environment was a pleasant change — the music was no less funky, and the crowds were no less entertained. Attendees included the New Orleans Saints Whistle Blower (in costume, of course), WWOZ Underwriting Rep Carmen Post and 'OZ Membership Director Crystal Gross, all of whom grooved hard to classic numbers like "Big Chief" and "Ain't No Use", as well as PGF's repertoire of original organ-drenched funk.
Thanks again to Papa Grows Funk, the Maple Leaf, the WWOZ engineers and staff, and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living for putting on such a fun show.