"New Orleans Blues & Funk" Course w/ Jon Cleary - Now Available 🚀

Well @meganjerome has inspired me to finally post up some performance video. Glad to hear another NOLA fan throw it down so I’d better step up.

This is my (sort of) transcription of Jon Cleary’s Frenchmen St. Blues from the Treme’ soundtrack. Apologies for the singing but it helps me phrase the bits between vocal and piano and these sorts of tunes need their lyrics in any case. That said - I’m not a singer. Pretend it’s a Keith Garrett tune and you have to listen to him hum…




Yes! :musical_keyboard::fire::fire::fire:

John wow that was fantastic! I want to hear more! I loved the singing!

More more more!


And what’s hour connection to nola?

Very nicely done, John. Keep humming.! It sounds perfect for this kind of music. :musical_keyboard: :sunglasses:


Great performance John… loved it.

Nice setup with the camera angle too.

I agree with Megan… your singing sounds awesome… really nice job.


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@John_Harris @Hayden HOURS of joyful practice coming up!

Ah… well thanks much.

Connection… just to the music of the city. Culture etc.

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Tks boss.

I’m never sure about the camera stuff. By the time I’ve messed with tripods, cables, angles, light, roaming cats, HVAC noise - I’ve forgotten about the music.

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Yes I know the feeling, it’s a fiddly job.

If it would help I can share the equipment I use to get the overhead shot for PianoGroove. It’s a light weight setup and fits easily in carry-on luggage which I find handy.

:smile: haha perhaps @LoriNelson can give you some advice there. Her cat - Sam - loves to perch on her piano.

Thank again for sharing the video John - it was very nice to listen to and the overhead shot makes a performance much more engaging in my opinion.

I hope Jon’s tutorial on Frenchman Street Blues gives you some inspiration to develop your arrangement further. If you have any feedback on the lessons be sure to let me know and we can incorporate all ideas and suggestions into future lessons.

That would be very welcome. I’ve wondered what you educational types are using. I have a big DSLR but that causes the “fiddle factor” to go way up - so something lightweight and/or easier to set up would be best.

Hahaha - yes, I"ve seen her studio photo of “Silver Sam the Hansom Man” and can attest to his general overall hansom-ness.

Absolutely! I’ve been doing a deep dive into that version. He also does a VERY jazz voiced take of Frenchman St on his album “Dyno-mite” that is really nice. I had been meaning to transcribe that one and it might be something that he/you/students might want to have a look at.

Original from Treme’ soundtrack.

Jazz version - From “Dyno-mite”

Ok, now that I’ve listened to both of those again for about the zillionbabillionth time - I’m going to crawl in a hole and not come out.



That’s awesome Megan! Fun!

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So much fun! I love your energy

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Thanks so much Lori! Its great to hear your duo too, and to see in your bio that its all joy and heart led for you. For me too!


There it is! Twelve keys! Phew!!!

Cheers all and I hope you’ve had a great weekend playing piano!!

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Yes DLSRs are heavy pieces of kit. I use handy-cams mainly because they are lightweight.

I’m creating an explainer post and I will add this to our Software Section of the forum with links to Amazon for the exact kit I use.

That’s wonderful to hear and thanks for sharing the additional recording links.


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That’s nice to hear them back to back. Thanks!

Hey, nice breakdown Megan. I didn’t know he covered this tune and you’ve made me poke around for it.

Did you see this? I can’t make my left hand do that… sigh


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Agreed - It helps my own practice and analysis to see how an artist might do chord substitutions, style and melody changes etc etc. - - kind of a look inside their heads as to their thinking.


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Hey John what a great video! Where is it from? Thanks so much for digging around and sharing that!

And by the way I also love that video from Paris - these are all great links - thanks so much for sharing them!

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Hey Hayden!

I’m eager to try out this course and wonder what level it’s geared towards. I’m working my way through the beginner level, so I’m planning to wait until I’m through with that. I’d like to stay on the jazz track while learning more NOLA style though, so I wonder if there’s a syllabus you’d recommend for that. I also wonder if there are any lessons there on arranging pop songs in a New Orleans style.


Hi Theo :wave:

Welcome to the PianoGroove community.

Yes Jon’s course is definitely intermediate/advanced level, and so if you are new to jazz harmony, I would recommend to study our first 5 jazz courses to equip you with the foundational knowledge of jazz harmony. I have listed them below.

You might also find Steve’s Chicago Blues course useful to get the feel for the blues form and some common voicings used when playing the blues. His lessons will also help you to develop hand independence which is essential for the New Orleans style.

There is a lot of cross over between the courses so I’d definitely recommend starting with this course by Steve and then progress onto Jon’s lessons.

The 5 Jazz Courses:

Here are the first 5 jazz courses where we cover the bulk of jazz harmony that you will find in Jon’s lessons:

This is not something that we currently have, but it’s certainly an area that we can explore in the future.

After studying some of Jon’s lessons you can try to apply the concepts to pop songs. I’m sure the jazz courses listed over will also give you some ideas and inspiration.

Hope this helps and any further questions just let me know.