1964, Kent, England. This respected UK blues keyboard player has carved out a niche as a session player backing artists from a diverse range of genres, in addition to maintaining a low-key solo career with his funk band the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.
The first instrument Cleary learned was the guitar, and he played in several punk bands before graduating to the piano and returning to his first musical love, blues, funk, and jazz. After leaving art school Cleary made the pilgrimage across the ocean to New Orleans, Louisiana, landing a summer job at the popular venue the Maple Leaf Club. Although he was meant to be painting the bar Cleary was often called on to deputise for the house pianist. After an enforced return to England courtesy of the immigration department, Cleary moved back to New Orleans where he played with artists including Walter Wolfman Washington, George Porter Jnr. , and James Singleton.