Grammy award winner and local funk legend Art Neville has died, according to his longtime manager. Neville announced his retirement this past December while battling a slew of ongoing health issues.
The New Orleans native was born at Charity Hospital on December 17, 1937. Neville's virtuosic music career began at the age of 17 when he was invited to record "Mardi Gras Mambo" with the Hawketts-now the best-known version of the classic Carnival song. After a six-year stint in the navy, Neville went on release a number of solo singles and formed The Meters in 1965 along with Zigaboo Modeliste, George Porter Jr., and Leo Nocentelli. After the dissolution of The Meters in 1977, Art and brothers Aaron, Charles, and Cyril formed The Neville Brothers, who went on to become one of the most popular and influential bands to ever emerge from New Orleans.
Art Neville is survived by his wife Lorraine and three children, Arthel, Ian, and Amelia. Arrangements are expected to be announced in the coming days.
photo credit: Scott Chernis