Charles Neville brings New Orleans’ jazz to DPAC

(Charles Neville and his band filled DPAC with sounds of New Orleans. Photo by Erin Fitzmaurice)

A sea of bobbing heads and tapping toes flooded DPAC on Monday, March 7 as sounds of Charles Neville’s saxophone filled the air.

Neville and his band played classic New Orleans and R&B music.

Neville took the stage with his band, which includes Tony Medeiros on guitar and vocals and FSU’s Assistant Director of the Christa McAuliffe Center Bruce Mattson on piano and vocals.

Medeiros played with Rick Danko from The Band, and Mattson previously toured with the Allman Brothers Band. Mattson will reunite in May with Gregg Allman and drummer Jaimoe.

They were accompanied by Mark Texeria on the drums and Jesse Williams on the bass guitar. Both performers are veterans of Al Kooper’s band and frequently play in the Chili Brothers band with Medeiros and Mattson.

The band’s set consisted of seven finger-snapping songs and an encore, none of which was rehearsed beforehand.

The encore brought the crowd to their feet. They finished their performance with “When the Saints Go Marching In.”  This had the audience up and dancing.

Mattson said, “It was a great crowd … and very responsive crowd.  First time I think I’ve attended a performance series concert here, one of these midday series, and seen a standing ovation and an encore.”

Neville descended from a long ancestry of musicians and, being from New Orleans, he was always surrounded by upbeat jazz he developed a passion for.

“Being raised in New Orleans, being born in New Orleans, everybody in the family was musical, everybody in the neighborhood, there was music everywhere all the time,” Neville said.

Neville travels all around to college campuses to perform. Two weeks before he performed at UMass Amherst. Neville performed there with the New Africa House Ensemble and special guest vocalists I-Shea and Toney Smith.

FSU students enjoyed Neville’s performance and agree that more events like this should take place on campus.

Colin Plouffe, a junior, said, “I thought it was different and refreshing from music you hear on the radio and just around town.”

Chris Cifello, a sophomore, said, “I thought it was interesting, and very different from the other performances I’ve seen on campus. … I think more events like it would be interesting, and I think they could benefit from more comprehensive advertisement.”

Adrian Pineda, a freshman, said, “I thought it was really cool. … I was surprised that more people didn’t show up, it was good music.”

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