CANCELED: Music Performance Series: Jon Cleary

Thursday, April 2, 2020
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Elias J. Halling Recital Hall, Earley Center for Performing Arts


Minnesota State University, Mankato and the Department of Music & Entertainment Industries are committed to taking any steps necessary to protect the health and safety of our faculty, staff, students and community. To limit the spread of COVID-19, we have decided to cancel the remaining performances this semester. This includes:

  • Contemporary Instrumental Ensembles – March 26

  • Music Performance Series: The Jimmys – March 28

  • Music Performance Series: Todd Clouser – March 31

  • Music Performance Series: Jon Cleary – April 2

  • Percussion Ensemble – April 5

  • Spring Choral Concert – April 19

  • Jazz Bands – April 23

  • Concert Wind Ensemble – April 26

  • Contemporary Vocal Ensembles – April 30

  • Music at the Movies – May 2

  • Music at the Movies (repeat performance) – May 3

At this time, we are working on a plan to refund ticket sales. Thank you for your understanding and continued support. If you have any questions contact the Performance Series office at (507) 389-5549.


Jon Cleary, a New Orleans piano legend and a contemporary of Dr. John, Henry Butler and the late Allan Toussaint, is scheduled to perform on Thursday, April 2 at 7:30 pm in the Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The concert event is sponsored by the Bunny Just Piano Festival Endowment and the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series.

Jon Cleary is thoroughly steeped in the classic Crescent City keyboard style, from Jelly Roll Morton to Fats Domino to Art Neville, James Booker, and beyond. Cleary uses that century’s worth of pianistic brilliance as a point of departure to forge his own unique and eclectic style. 

“I love New Orleans R&B, “ Cleary explains. “I’m a fan, first and foremost. But there’s little point in just going back and re-recording the old songs. I think the greatest New Orleans R&B records are the ones that built on what went before but also added something new.  You get to channel all the music you absorb through your own individual set of filters – and the fun is in seeing what comes out.  Funk is the ethnic folk music of New Orleans, and I want to portray a sound that is true to the city I love.”  

At an early age, Jon Cleary worked juke joints and road gigs with Earl King and Snooks Eaglin. Cleary was a sideman for BB King and Taj Mahal, and later with Bonnie Raitt’s band for 10 years.

Cleary says, “In a band situation, I have learned to maintain a clear idea of the way everybody has to work together. I’ve learned that from the experience over the years, whether it was in Bonnie Raitt’s band or Taj Mahal’s band or Walter Washington’s band.”



Dale Haefner


Department of Music

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