NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - New Orleans is again mourning the loss of one of its musical pioneers after the death of the legendary Art “Poppa Funk” Neville Monday (July 23).
The following night, local musicians paid tribute to their friend with a special show, which funk musicians David and Russell Batiste dedicated to Neville at BB King’s in the French Quarter.
Neville was a founding member of “the Meters” and “the Neville Brothers.” But before that at just 17, he gave carnival favorite “Mardi Gras Mambo” when he joined “the Hawketts.”
Good friend and fellow musician David Batiste said Neville was a visionary who created a sound all his own.
“It was just wonderful knowing Art and wonderful playing with him early on, in the early years. I was so proud of him and the Neville Brothers,” Batiste said.“He was a giving guy too. If I were to sit by him and say Art how do you get that he would show you.”
Art Neville was 81 years old. He paved the way for and influenced generations of musicians, while performing as both a vocalist and a keyboardist.
In December, Neville announced his retirement from performing.