Jon Cleary is a funk and R&B musician based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was originally from Cranbrook in Kent, England, and has studied for the past 35 years the "musical culture and life of New Orleans". Cleary is an accomplished honky-tonk pianist as well as being a multi-instrumentalist, a vocalist and a song-writer.
Jon Cleary performs with a number of music luminaries including Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, B.B. King, Ryan Adams, and Eric Burdon. Compositions by Cleary have been recorded by notable musicians including Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt and most recently John Scofield on his album, Piety Street.
Cleary's current band is Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, who have released two albums. The album, Go Go Juice, won the Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album in 2016 and was voted as the album of the Year by the Offbeat magazine.
Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen consist of Cleary on keyboard and vocals; Derwin "Big D" Perkins on guitar; Cornell C. Williams on bass and backup vocals; and A.J. Hall on drums. All of the band members, except for Cleary, were born in New Orleans.
The band is generally well received, drawing large crowds of locals at classic New Orleans venues like Tipitina's and the Maple Leaf Bar. They are also a mainstay at the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival and have played at Bonnaroo as well as other music festivals.
Rolling Stone's David Fricke wrote of the Pin Your Spin album: "Cleary can be an absolute monster on his own, but Cleary’s full combo R&B is as broad, deep and roiling as the Mississippi river, the combined swinging product of local keyboard tradition, Cleary’s vocal-songwriting flair for moody Seventies soul and the spunky-meters roll of his Gentlemen".