Almanac Music: Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Jon Cleary is a British-born American funk and R&B musician who has been based in New Orleans for nearly forty years.  


Jon Cleary fell in love with the music of New Orleans as a young boy in England when an uncle brought home some Professor Longhair albums back from the USA.


The boogie-woogie piano style of Fess was an inspiration to Cleary in more ways than one. Soon he was learning to play the boogie-woogie style and during a visit as a young men to New Orleans  to experience the musical culture and life of the Big Easy he made the decision to stay and make New Orleans his home.


Jon Cleary is now regarded as one of  New Orleans‘ own and continues in the tradition of a long line of  piano players that New Orleans is renowned for.


Check out some of his fantastic music below.



Jon Cleary ‘Jam in a Van’ at JazzFest



Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen  – ‘Unnecessarily Mercenary’



Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen – ‘Tipitina’



Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen – ‘So Damn Good’



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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Daryl Schramm says

    Enjoyed the videos Colin. Very talented and creative and the band are great. More jazz and blues I reckon. For pure boogie woogie I was recently alerted to a Swedish piano player Micke Muster. His “I’m Not Gerry Lee” tells his story. Cheers

  2. Keiran Croker says

    He is a gem Col. I’ve seen him many times here and in N’awlins. Great solo and brilliant with the band. While his contemporary stuff is an amalgam of jazz, blues and funk, he does do heaps of the traditional N’awlins style boogie in live performances. He can play anything! Just brilliant.

  3. We were fortunate to see Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen at Port Fairy in 2014 and man did he/they deliver. Sensational. We caught them on the Monday morning of the festival, which is when the big guns come out for one final powerhouse of a performance. On this occassion, as good as Jon Cleary was the band that closed the festival in the main tent, Hanggai, a Mongolian punk/folk outfit blew everybody away. Cheers

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