Art “Poppa Funk” Neville has reportedly passed away.

Vocalist and keyboardist Art “Poppa Funk” Neville has passed away at the age of 81. Art was a founding member of funk legends The and The and was instrumental in shaping the funk sound.

Keith Spera of The Times-Picayune has a length obituary and feature article about his life and history up already.

For many years, the closed the main stage of the Jazz & Heritage on its final Sunday. Art, ever funky, ever cool, presided from behind his keyboards, flashing the Vulcan “ long and prosper” salute familiar to fellow Star Trek . He won a Grammy the and another for his contributions to a to his pal .

Fellow New Orleans and are giving their thoughts and condolences today all over social media. posted “Another legend lost 💔 RIP .”

A very touching message was shared by his brother, , also asking for privacy during this time of mourning.

My big brother Artie / AKA Poppa Funk was the patriarch of the Neville tribe, big , a legend from way way back, my first inspiration. I would try and copy his style, his high natural tenor that only he could do. He and Izzy Koo taught me how to do harmonies when we lived in the Calliope Projects.

I was 13 years old when Art recorded Mambo in 1954. He let me sing his band the Hawkettes while I was still a wild one. When he went into the navy I took over, but was still joy riding in hot cars so I went to jail for six months and he took back over when he came home from duty. He went on the road me as my Road Manager and keyboard player when “Tell It Like It Is” came out.

When we got off the road he started and the Neville Sounds which was Art, Cyril, Me, with , Porter, Zig Joseph Modelsti and Gary Brown. We played at a club called the Nite Cap for a couple of years then later on at The Ivan Ho club in the French Quarter. The club only called for 4 guys , so Art, , Zig and Leo took that gig. got with them and that’s when the were born.

Me and Cyril got with Sam Henry and started the Machine. Cyril later got to be one of Meters. In 1976, Uncle Jolly called us all to New Orleans to record his ; The Wild Tchoupatoulas Indianans. In 1977 Charlie moved back home from City and that’s when band started. We traveled over land and sea bringing our music to the world.

We played with people like the , , , , Tina Turner and many others. We went on the amnesty tour sponsored by the late great Bill Graham who opened doors for , our children and so many other folks. From the park bench in the Calliope to Valence St. in the 13th ward to parts unknown we brought our Music and inspiration to the world stage.

We can say that 88 keys were blessed by Poppa Funk. I know he’s in heaven with Mommee and Poppee, Big , Cookie, Brother Charlie, Mac/Dr John, , and . So many great New Orleans musicians and singers are in the heavenly band . I know they’re accepting him with open arms so he can take his rightful place as one of the greats. Artie Poppa Funk Neville you are loved dearly by every one who knew you. Love always your lil’ big brother AARON (we ask for privacy during this time of mourning)

Our hearts are with the legendary Neville family today.

Ad Ops Nerd. Living that San Diego life. Chicago born and raised.