Son of Aaron Neville Charts His Own Path on Way to Jefferson Center

Ivan Neville (at center) and “Dumpstaphunk.”

Ivan Neville (at center) and “Dumpstaphunk.”
Ivan Neville (at center) and “Dumpstaphunk.”

Like a tasty gumbo from his native New Orleans, Ivan Neville is serving it up hot with Dumpstaphunk. The son of Aaron Neville brings his jazzy/funky/soulful band to Jefferson Center’s recital hall this Friday, June 12, for a 10:00 pm show. The group also includes cousin Ian Neville – son of Art, another of the famed Neville Brothers and a former member of The Meters.

Said Ivan Neville in an interview from his New Orleans home: “the combination of our influences, which includes The Meters, Sly and the Family Stone, and 70’s funk [are] tossed into a dirty receptacle, shaken up and dumped out in the year 2009.”  The result is “Dumpstaphunk.”

From an early age, Ivan, mostly a bassist, has played with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards (in his solo band the Xpensive Winos), Bonnie Raitt and the Spin Doctors. His band mates have a long, impressive resume as well, and yes, some have played with the Neville Brothers band.

“It was a great thing to have done …something that a lot of people don’t get to do – cool stuff,” said Neville of his gigs with the Stones. “Everything we have done to this point is a part of who you are. [That] comes into play, but musically Dumpstaphunk is a beast of its own.”

Some of Dumpstaphunk’s music ties in to current events, like the song “Meanwhile,” where listeners are encouraged to “have a good time,” even if the FEMA check hasn’t arrived yet. That’s a reference to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“A lot of times we’ll choose to write about something relevant, and why not?” said Neville.

The band (including Nick Daniels, Tony Hall and Raymond Weber) first got together for an impromptu jam at the 2003 New Orleans Jazzfest, and grew from there.

“I wanted to do something different – I wanted to do a band. From that point on we just tried to play as often as we could,” Neville said.

Being the sons of famous musicians is a “double edged sword” for Ivan and Ian Neville.

“We come from a cool family,” said Ivan Neville, “but it can be a little bit much because you get singled out.” But he’ll live with it because of the attention it brings to the group. “We’re not another Neville [Brothers] band. We just happen to be two guys with the last name Neville.”

Dumpstaphunk helps prove that they are not a Neville Brothers tribute band. Ivan Neville has one goal for those that might attend this Friday’s gig at Jefferson Center: “I want them to leave a Dumpstaphunk show saying ‘that is some of the most fun music I have ever heard…that is the funkiest band and I haven’t danced so much in years.’ I want to leave them with a smile on their face.”

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