New Orleans is in mourning. She has just lost one of its favorite sons. Art Neville died Monday, July 22 at the age of 81 years. “It was peaceful,” says Kent Sorel, his manager and friend. “He died in his home with at his side his beloved wife Lorraine. He has travelled the world several times, but it is always returned to Valencia Street,” he said, in remarks reported by the local site Nola.

in Spite of the tours and success, the one who was called “Poopa Funk” (the father of the funk) never forgot the cradle where it was born. An inimitable style, a passion passed on through his music and the notes of his organ helped forge his legend, in Louisiana first, then in the United States and in the rest of the world. “My big brother Artie aka ‘Poppa Funk’ was the patriarch of the tribe Neville, the grand chief, a legend for a very long time, my first inspiration. I have tried to copy its style, its tenor, naturally, perched high, he was only able to do”, has welcomed his brother, Aaron Neville, with whom he consulted in the Neville Brothers, in a long message on Facebook.

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Three groups in order to forge the legend

Art Neville, his real name is Arthur Lanon Neville, was born December 17, 1937 in New Orleans. It was quickly put behind a piano. At age 16, he joined the Hawketts and released his first hit: Mardi Gras Mambo. music that is today and since its release, one of the hymns of the carnival of New Orleans.

After a short solo career marked by several titles more or less known as Cha Dooky-Doo in 1958, the future Daddy of the funk based the Sounds Neville that would later become the Meters. This is the group with which he stayed for the longest time and not necessarily meet the expected success. They recorded several titles such as Cissy Strut, Look-Ka Py Py, Chicken Strut, but at a time when the Rolling Stones are starting to get people talking about them this is not enough.

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This is the creation of the Neville Brothers, formed in 1976 with Cyril, Aaron and Charles, his brothers, reviving his career. Together, they will release ten albums. The immense success of Yellow Moon (1988), a mixture of funk and blues, will make the family a reference, and Arthur Lanon Neville, a funk legend and an icon in New Orleans. Art Neville joined his brother Charles, who died in April 2018.