The Funky Meters featuring John "Papa" Gros

The Funky Meters featuring John "Papa" Gros

7 Come 11

Thursday Sep 14

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

This event is 18 and over

Due to medical concerns, Art Neville will be unable to perform with The Funky Meters for the group's upcoming show here at The Hamilton Live. In his place, the band welcomes good friend & collaborator John "Papa" Gros to join them for this weekend's run of dates while Art rests up.

For any wheelchair or ADA needs, please contact the Box Office in advance of the performance at (202)-769-0122.

Please note that the front row of tables and chairs will be cleared for this show to create a general admission Pit. Be advised that there may be some seated areas where vision of the stage is obstructed.

The Funky Meters featuring John "Papa" Gros
The Funky Meters featuring John "Papa" Gros
Formed during an informal jam during the 1989 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Art Neville, George Porter Jr., and Russell Batiste Jr., founded what would be the core of the funky METERS. The history of founding members Art Neville and George Porter Jr. dates back to 1967, when keyboardist, Art recruited bass player, George, drummer Joseph (Zigaboo) Modeliste and guitarist Leo Nocentelli to form The Meters. In their 31-year history, The Meters have grooved their way around the globe. They have toured with such talents as The Rolling Stones, and have been a studio band for such diverse artists as Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Robert Palmer, and Patti Labelle. The original Meters disbanded in the late 70’s. Today founding members Art Neville and George Porter Jr., are joined by New Orleans native Brian Stoltz on guitar and Russell Batiste Jr. on drums and are known officially as the funky METERS. funky METERS tap into the roots of The Meters musical heritage while taking the sound well into the future. Their trademark sound blends funk, blues, and dance grooves with a New Orleans vibe.

In 1994, Art and George were joined by guitarist Brian Stoltz and Russell Batiste and officially christened The Funky METERS. This lineup carried the funk torch until the spring of 2007 when Stoltz left to pursue his solo career and Ian Neville, the son of Meters founder Art Neville joined the line up taking over guitar duties. Growing up in the Neville house of music and touring with The Neville Brothers, as well Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Ian was poised to step in to help bring the band into the future. In 2011, Brian Stoltz was invited to play with funky METERS when Ian was committed to his band, Dumpstaphunk, gigs. Once the band was onstage it was if they hadn’t skipped a beat, the band and audience both knew Brian was meant to be there. After four years with Ian in the band, the time came for him to focus on his own band’s success and funky METERS invited Brian to rejoin full time.

2014 saw a changing of the guardian of the groove. After an amazing 20+ year run with David Russell Batiste, Jr. holding down the drum throne, funky METERS welcomed Terrence Houston to the band as the new groove guardian. "I'm honored that I've been given the opportunity to share the stage with a group of legends", says Terrence.

The collective resume between the four artists in the band speaks volumes for the level of musicianship and creativity that comes alive when they play together on any stage. After three years of solid touring including dates at Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Jamcruise, The Fillmore Auditorium and countless others the funky METERS are stronger than ever. In fact, the funk is still going as strong today as it was 40 plus years ago.

The collective resume between the four artists in the band speaks volumes for the level of musicianship and creativity that comes alive when they play together on any stage. After three years of solid touring including dates at Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Jamcruise, The Fillmore Auditorium and countless others the funky METERS are stronger than ever. In fact, the funk is still going as strong today as it was 40 plus years ago.
7 Come 11
Gianni Staiano knows his music history: he was raised on Sixties rock, studied classical music, jazz and in his college years, fell hard for the boogaloo and funk made famous by the world famous funky Meters. But the Santa Cruz, California-based musician is forever looking forward. “I’ve always been in love with the old stuff, but I don’t want to make music that sounds like anything in the past,” the inventive musical savant says firmly. “I want to make something that sounds new. I want to do my own thing.”

So it is that man who leads the dance-funk fever dream that is, 7 Come 11 who continually pushes the musical envelope. You’ll find him on his trusted Hammond organ, whipping up a sumptuous bass line with his foot pedals, chopping out funky textures and melodies with his paws, weaving in electronic whizz and purr, lathering his kaleidoscopic music with a touch of the future. “It’s earth-shaking. It’s raw,” Staiano says of his Light It Up EP, a five-track album that shakes with power, fury and blazes with the energy and unrestrained emotion that has come to define 7 Come 11’s raucous live shows. “This project is me completely taking the reigns,” he says. “All of my musical heroes were very forward-thinking. Anybody that is recognized for doing anything significant thinks that way.”

Learning to embrace the potential and push the limits and boundaries of his musical mind — and more specifically, how he can merge his classically trained musical mind with new technology — has been a slow burn for Staiano, who attended the Berklee College of Music before studying jazz at San Diego State. “Going to jazz school there’s a lot of attitude: if you’re not playing Charlie Parker you’re shit,” he recalls with a laugh. “James Brown’s band used to get a lot of flack back in the Sixties, because they weren’t playing the established form. Imagine that! It’s a fight you always have. But thankfully I have overcome the battle within myself to embrace all the new stuff and be more forward-thinking.”

Innovation smacks you in the face on Light It Up: that whiplash mélange of futuristic funk is rushing head-on with fire in its eyes on “Come Get Some,” a track that calls to mind Herbie Hancock by way of Daft Punk. Shotgun drums and vocoders whir in unison with Moog synths on “Higher.” The title track bounces with a hip-hop swagger, Staiano’s sexy Hammond harmonies prancing above. “Right now I’m trying to incorporate the new technology that a lot of the electronic musicians are using,” Staiano says. “Sample tabs and things like that so I can create sounds at home — ambient sounds that people are used to hearing at shows. It’s really fun.”

Most notably, 7 Come 11’s latest work is a sonic dance party. Staiano grew up removed from the world of dance, but through his embracing of West African music — even traveling to the region to study with its most dedicated disciples — he came to not only fall hard for dance music but now feels it an essential part of his musical being. “It awakened this whole new person inside me,” he explains. “The music is so much more intense, if you feel it in your body and you move your body with the music. If I’m going out what do I want to do? I want to go out and dance to some good music. Not some EDM bullshit where the drop happens every 60 seconds and everybody takes a selfie. I want to get down. I want to get into it.”

To that end, 7 Come 11’s live gigs have become legendary affairs. Sweaty and adrenaline-fueled, the shows, Staiano says, for him are a cathartic release. “It’s a young audience and they’re getting down,” he says proudly. “It’s such an incredible feeling to have a whole room dancing with you.” He laughs: “It’s not a show where they encourage you to wear high heels.”

Don’t expect Staiano to remain static: you’ll find him on the road in the coming months — from the Bay Area to New Orleans where he’s playing alongside his idols, funky Meters. “I’m freaking out,” Staiano says of 7 Come 11’s shows alongside his funk idols. “I mean, holy shit! I get to play with these guys that taught me how to play the music through their records! It’s totally surreal.”
Venue Information:
The Hamilton
600 14th St NW
Washington, DC, 20005
http://www.thehamiltondc.com