A cornerstone of New Orleans music, the singer and keyboardist began his career with hits on Chess and Specialty Records in the 50s before fronting the classic funk and R&B instrumental quartet the Meters and finally forming the Neville Brothers in the late 70s.
As a founding member of the Meters and Neville Brothers, New Orleans vocalist and keyboardist Art Neville helped immeasurably to shape the contemporary New Orleans funk sound. Neville's first band, the Hawketts, tasted local success in 1954 with the carnival perennial "Mardi Gras Mambo" on Chess. He cut some nice solo singles for Specialty during the late '50s, notably "Cha Dooky-Doo," as well as contributing two choruses of storming piano to Jerry Byrne's 1958 classic "Lights Out." "All These Things," a gentle ballad, also did well locally in 1962 on the Instant logo. He assembled the Meters in the mid-'60s, and the instrumental quartet proved the Crescent City's answer to the MG's until their 1977 breakup. That's when Art and his siblings formed the Neville Brothers, who went on to reign as the leading musical export from New Orleans. Health problems led to Art Neville retiring from performing in 2018, and on July 22, 2019, he died at the age of 81.