Papa Grows Funk. The
embodiment of the laissez faire spirit of the Big Easy, the group’s no rehearsal/ no playlist ethos and what became a twelve-year-long Monday night residency at the Maple Leaf Bar quickly made the band the stuff of legend.
Fun, funky, unpredictable, and energetic, the group made Mardi Gras magic, wowed every year at Jazz Fest, and carried an international following as far afoot as Brazil and Japan. Their penchant for improvisation was a beloved hallmark of the group and fostered a near-rabid response from their loyal fans.
“The pinnacle moments were every time the five of us got onstage, the way that we connected musically,” Papa Gros says. “We could raise the roof on any given night on any stage anywhere in the world.”
The ensemble—Papa Gros on Hammond B3 and vocals, June Yamagishi on guitar, Jason Mingledorff on saxophone, Marc Pero on bass and “Jellybean” Alexander on drums—released six albums before disbanding following a sold-out farewell show at the famed Tipitina’s.