Asheville-based musician and composer Marcel Anton answered questions in the LEAF press lounge on Saturday. During the festival, he performed with Jeff Thompson’s SoulofNOLA project, which kicked off the weekend, as well as his own band. He also led the LEAF members party at The Barn on Sunday.
Anton left New Orleans, where he’d lived for many years, following Hurricane Katrina. He briefly settled in Southern Florida where he cared for his elderly parents and his children. A reunion with an ex-girlfriend brought him to Ashevillle. “I love world music and Latin music, but I needed a change from South Florida,” he says. And while he occasionally feels a New Orleans connection in Asheville, his musical endeavors, including work with an entertainment law firm, regularly take him back to Louisiana.
In his adopted hometown, Anton joined advocacy organization Asheville Music Professionals. The group, he says, “gives me hope the music scene can expand and become more inclusive”
He continues, “As the community comes to understand it’s important to support live music, the culture will come along. A $3 to $5 cover at the door [for a show] goes along way to support the artist.”
Anton’s own career also took him to Southern California. He played in LA and toured with his band, The Jumpers, which he describes as “insane funk and ska with horns.” He lived in Malibu during the late ’90s, composing music for film scores. That work continues, as Anton is currently involved with a film company in Atlanta. He also tours frequently with his own trio and plays in a number of local bands ranging in style from blues to country.
Anton recently completed a new album, OTG, at Echo Mountain, which will be released in tandem with a shamanic healing record featuring sounds from indigenous traditions.