New feature film TAKE ME TO THE RIVER NEW ORLEANS announces special live musical tour dates that coincide with select theatrical openings!
Buy your tickets now to see TAKE ME TO THE RIVER ALL-STARS LIVE, featuring Ivan Neville and Ian Neville from Dumpstaphunk, the legendary pianist Jon Cleary, Rob Mercurio from the iconic band Galactic, and drumming extraordinaire Terence Higgins. Will also feature special guests.
To support the release of the brand new feature film TAKE ME TO THE RIVER NEW ORLEANS (in select theaters now), and the brand new record TAKE ME TO THE RIVER NEW ORLEANS, TAKE ME TO THE RIVER ALL-STARS LIVE is a collection of some of the best New Orleans’ musical talents. The night is guaranteed to keep everyone dancing, shaking, and smiling, as if transported to New Orleans itself!
May 5th: New Orleans – House of Blues
Make sure to also purchase a ticket to see the film in theaters now at The Broad Theater
May 10th: Chicago City Winery Music Event
Make sure to also purchase a ticket to see the film in theaters for 1 night only on 5.18 at Landmark Century Centre
May 11th: Philadelphia The Ardmore Music Event
Make sure to also purchase a ticket to see the film in theaters for 1 night only on 5.18 at Landmark Ritz 5
May 12th: NY Brooklyn Bowl Music Event
Make sure to also purchase a ticket to see the film in theaters for 1 night only on 5.17 at Alamo Drafthouse
Make sure to also purchase a ticket to see the film in theaters for 1 night only on 5.18 at Landmark Plaza Frontenac
Ivan Neville, Ian Neville
Ivan Neville and Ian Neville, members of Dumpstaphunk, stand out among New Orleans’ best as part of one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage, and descended from Neville family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move. Their performances combine ingenious musicianship and complex funk and jazz arrangements. Ivan has played and appeared on several Neville Brothers records, two Rolling Stones albums, as well as his father Aaron Neville’s solo records. He has performed in Bonnie Raitt’s band and was a member of Keith Richard’s solo band, the X-Pensive Winos. With Dumpstaphunk, Ivan and Ian have performed on the Late Show with David Letterman and become mainstays at music festivals across the country.
Jon Cleary’s love and affinity for New Orleans music goes back to the rural British village of Cranbrook, Kent, where he was raised in a musical family. Cleary’s maternal grandparents performed in London in the 1940s, under the respective stage names Sweet Dolly Daydream and Frank Neville, The Little Fellow With The Educated Feet – she as a singer, and he as a crooner and tap dancer.
As a teen, Cleary grew increasingly interested in funk-infused music and discovered that three such songs that he particularly admired – LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” Robert Palmer’s version of “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley,” and Frankie Miller’s rendition of “Brickyard Blues” –were attributed to Allen Toussaint as either the songwriter, the producer, or both. Cleary’s knowledge of Toussaint’s work expanded significantly when his uncle returned home to the
U.K., after a two-year sojourn in New Orleans, with a copy of a Toussaint LP and two suitcases full of New Orleans R&B 45s.
In 1981 Cleary flew to New Orleans for an initial pilgrimage and took a cab straight from the airport to the Maple Leaf Bar, a storied venue that then featured such great blues-rooted eclectic pianists as Roosevelt Sykes and James Booker. Cleary first worked at the Maple Leaf as a painter, but soon graduated to playing piano there – even though his first instrument was the guitar, which he still plays and has recently reintroduced into his live performances.
As word of Cleary’s burgeoning talent began to spread around town, he was hired by such New Orleans R&B legends as Snooks Eaglin, Earl “Trick Bag” King, Johnny Adams, and Jessie “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” Hill, while also gaining the respect of the great Crescent City pianists Dr. John and the late Allen Toussaint. Years later, in 2012, Cleary recorded a critically acclaimed album of all-Toussaint songs entitled Occapella.
Today, Cleary’s work pays obvious homage to the classic Crescent City keyboard repertoire created by such icons as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Dr. John, and James Booker – while also using it as a launching pad for a style that incorporates such other diverse influences as ’70s soul and R&B, gospel music, funk, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Cuban rhythms, and much more.
Deciding to stay in New Orleans, Cleary recorded his first album of nine, to date, in 1989. His ever-elevating profile led to global touring work in the bands of Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Dr. John, and Bonnie Raitt. Cleary has led his own group, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, for over two decades now, but he still collaborates frequently with these old friends. At the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, for instance, Cleary performed alongside Raitt in a heartfelt tribute to Fats Domino.
Terence Higgins was born in New Orleans in 1970 and was raised in the suburb of old Algiers. He was introduced to the drums at a very young age by his great grandfather and he has been playing ever since. In high school he was one of two students chosen from the state of Louisiana to perform in the McDonald’s All-American band, after high school he enrolled in music studies at Southern University, after a few years he decided to pursue a career in the music business.
Specializing in New Orleans grooves and keeping in touch with the Crescent City’s second line tradition and early New Orleans funk and R&B, he draws his influences from the legends of New Orleans drumming such as: Baby Dodds, Earl Palmer, Smokey Johnson, Charles “Hungry” Williams, Shannon Powell, James Black, Herlin Riley, Zigaboo, Joe Lastie, Idris Mohammed, Ricky Sebastien, Herman Ernest, and Mean Willie Green and also his peers: Adonis Rose, Brian Blade Gerald French, Donald Edwards, Troy Davis, Stanton Moore, Russell Batiste Jr., Jeffrey “Jellybean” Alexander, Doug Belote, Alfred Salvant, Raymond Weber and many other drummers around the world.
His professional career has taken him all over the world and his unsurpassed skills on the drums has allowed him to play with an eclectic group of musicians. Terence credits George Porter Jr of the Meters for taking him under his wing and introducing him to the vast repertoire of New Orleans music. Terence has performed with artists like Dr. John, Earl King, Marva Wright, Kermit Ruffin, Snooks Eaglin, Johnny Adams, George Porter Jr., The Wild Magnolias, Dave Badie, Ivan Neville & Dumpsta funk, Jon Cleary, Donald Harrison, Allen Toussaint, Michelle Shocked, Norah Jones, Renee Mcrary, John Scofield, DJ Logic, Bobby Jordan, Ed Perkins, Theryl “Houseman” Decluet, Micheal Ward, Robert Randolph, Widespread Panic, The Black Crows, North Mississippi All-Stars, Treme Brass band, Fats Domino and many other New Orleans artist. He is now touring and recording with one of New Orleans’s premier groups the Dirty Dozen Brass Band as well as his own band Swampgrease.
Robert Mercurio is the bass player and a founding member of the New Orleans funk band Galactic. He also holds such accomplishments as co-producing Galactic’s 10 albums and also producing songs by Big Freedia, Boyfriend, Lyrics Born, Porch 40, Greyhounds, The Company Stores and more.
Mercurio’s other musical projects include Dragon Smoke (Ivan Neville, Eric Lindell, Stanton Moore, and himself); Good Enough for Good Times (Jeff Raines, Simon Lott, Joe Ashlar, and himself); and the M&M’s (John Medeski, Papa Mali, Stanton Moore, and himself); amongst other local New Orleans bands.
Mercurio has seen continuing success in Galactic’s commercial/licensing career. These accomplishments include soundtracks to PS3 game InFamous 2, (which Mercurio co-produced). Prior to Infamous2 which was Galactic’s first project fully composing and performing an original videogame score, their music had appeared in several games including Rockband and Grand Theft Auto. In the past, they’ve also created the original theme music for NPR’s Weekend Edition. Galactic’s work has served as a theme and featured music in a variety of major films (Girl’s Trip, Rated X, The Mechanic, First Sunday, It’s the Rage), TV programs (True Blood, CSI, NCIS, Real World, Better Call Saul, Ozark Hawthorne, etc) and advertisements (Verizon, ESPN amongst many others). Infamous2 is one of the highest-profile releases in PS3 history. The original was a massive hit that was driven by a very intense cinematic score. The follow-up is an even more music-intensive project, and is expected to be a contender for “game of the year”. Galactic continues to internationally headline world tours, selling out venues everywhere. The band has appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” on a number of occasions and has had cameo appearances on the HBO hit series “Treme”.