Jon Cleary on the music of Allen Toussaint

by Chad Campbell, senior producer

On our very first visit to New Orleans in 2010, our final interview was in the home studio of Jon Cleary. He sat at a piano and treated us to a musical history lesson of The Big Easy. Which is sort of surprising when you hear him speak with his British accent. Cleary grew up in a small village in England but found his musical home in south Louisisana three decades ago. During our Jazz Fest visit last year, he invited us into his home studio again, this time to share music from his latest project, a CD tribute to one of his musical heroes. The album is titled Occapella (Having Fun with the Songs of Allen Toussaint).