As the daughter of one of the highly acclaimed Neville Brothers, Charmaine is heir to a rich New Orleans musical legacy but is busy putting her own stamp on this musical heritage. Neville and her band dish out a spicy mix of the best of New Orleans music, from the nastiest of blues to some V-8-driven R & B. Add a funky rhythm and some jazzy ballads punctuated by some charismatic between song dialogue, and you’ve got yourself one helluva Crescent City gumbo!
The band, certainly one of the best to come out of New Orleans, is co-led by Charmaine and natty piano wizard Amasa Miller. Devoted fans worldwide acclaim the Charmaine Neville Band. They’ve played festivals and clubs in cities all over the world including Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Copenhagen, Aukland (NZ), San Paulo (Brazil), Sasebo (Japan) and Barbados. Along the way, Charmaine has appeared with such notables as the Rolling Stones, Dr. John, Bobby McFerrin, Steven Stills, Harry Connick, Jr., and Linda Ronstadt.
It’s no surprise that the band is a popular fixture at the colorful New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and at clubs around New Orleans. And despite their tight schedule, Charmaine and the band always find time for helping others – playing gigs at the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans and at numerous local neighborhood and cultural festivals. They’ve even played such odd venues as Angola Penitentiary, where inmates raised the money to bring the Charmaine Neville Band to the prison. Reviewers have called their shows electrifying, aerobic, and explosive.
Charmaine and the band mix the hypnotic with the dramatic. Charmaine herself has been described as a crowd magnet, a frisky dynamo, versatile, vivacious, and technically impressive. Her talent for comedy, her rhythmic wizardry, her spontaneity, her vocal and dramatic range all make for a spectacular, energetic, riveting presentation.
One reviewer claims, “Listening to Charmaine is like swallowing electricity and then washing it down with a roomful of appliances!” Another writes, “Neville never sings a dull note. She sneers, laughs, swoops high, giggles, scats, glides, talks, and talks again, playing with her words as if trying to catch the music off guard.” In her own words, “I’m an entertainer. And make that entertainer with a capital E!”
“All music is good music,” Charmaine Neville says firmly. “I try to cover the whole spectrum and do just everything. I don’t want to be stagnated and stuck in a rut… People ask, ‘Oh, what category would you put your music in?’ And I say, ‘Good!’ “Born into the third generation of the New Orleans legendary musical family, Charmaine has nonetheless worked hard to get where she is and make her music known as her own. The work has paid off — as one reviewer recently wrote, “Charmaine Neville is beginning to rival her father and uncles in terms of popularity in New Orleans.” She started out backing up The Neville Brothers and went on to perform with The Survivors, a band whose alumni list includes Harry Connick Jr. and Bobby McFerrin. Today, Charmaine and keyboardist Amasa Miller co-lead the now five-piece band. Fans flock to catch them at their regular gig, Snug Harbor, as well as to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, where the band has become a well-known attraction. With a new CD (“Before the Storm”) and a guest spot on “Touched by an angel” behind her, as well as host spots for WGBH Radio Boston and a nationally televised Motown special, Charmaine is at her best on stage. “I intend to do this until I’m 115 years old,” she announces. “I’ll be a little old lady on a walker, going up on stage. When I go, I’ll be on stage.”
1992 It’s About Time
1996 Up Up Up1
998 Queen of the Mardi Gras
2011 Before the Storm