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Deacon John Moore

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Deacon John Moore
Moore at the Richmond Folk Festival 2015
Moore at the Richmond Folk Festival 2015
Background information
Birth nameJohn Moore
Born (1941-06-23) June 23, 1941 (age 82)
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana
GenresBlues, Rhythm and Blues
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader, actor
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, tambourine
Years active1950s –
LabelsMinit Records, RedBone Records, Vetter Communications
WebsiteDeacon John's Jump Blues

Deacon John Moore (born June 23, 1941,[1][2] New Orleans, Louisiana) better known as Deacon John, is a blues, rhythm and blues and rock and roll musician, singer, actor, and bandleader. John Moore was given the name "Deacon" by one of his band members. He did not like the name at first. He thought everyone would assume he was a gospel singer and never get gigs. However, based upon his early reputation, and at the urging of a music promoter, he decided to keep it and has been "Deacon John" ever since.


Moore grew up in New Orleans' 8th Ward. He plays guitar and is the brother of the Creole scholar Sybil Kein. He is a cradle Catholic.[3]

He was active on the New Orleans R&B scene since his teens, and became a session man on many hit recordings of the late 1950s and the 1960s, including those by Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey, Ernie K-Doe, and others.[2]

His band The Ivories at New Orleans' Dew Drop Inn attracted an enthusiastic following, sometimes upstaging visiting national acts Moore was hired to open for.[citation needed] While highly regarded locally and by his fellow musicians, lack of hit records under his own name kept him from the national fame achieved by a number of his peers.

In 2000 Moore was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame.

He is featured in the documentary segment Going Back to New Orleans: The Deacon John Film and the concert CD, Deacon John's Jump Blues (2003).

As of 2024 he remains a local favorite on the New Orleans music scene. On July 25, 2006 Moore became president of the local branch of the American Federation of Musicians.

On April 10, 2007, Moore's son Keith was shot and killed at the age of 42, in New Orleans. Keith was locally famous in New Orleans as ambient noise artist, Jambox Pyramid, and member of the punk band Manchild. In addition, Keith co-founded the experimental music event Noizefest in 2005 with local producer Sir Stephen, as an alternative, modern addition to the Jazzfest festivities.

In January 2008, Deacon John was selected to close the Inauguration of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal by performing "God Bless America" with the 156th Army Band and a Navy fly-over of jets, and later headline the Governor's Inaugural Ball.

In 2008, in ceremonies and performance at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Deacon John was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.[2]

Acting career[edit]

Moore had his first taste of acting 1987 by appearing in the horror film Angel Heart. Moore did not appear on the big screen again until 2013 when he had a cameo in another horror film, The Last Exorcism Part II. Moore also guest starred in a few episodes of Treme during 2010.


  • 1990 Singer of Song (Singer of Song)
  • 1999 Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 1994 (RedBone)
  • 2003 Deacon John's Jump Blues (Vetter) CD & DVD


Year Title Role Notes
2013 The Last Exorcism Part II Old Bluesman
2010 Treme Danny Nelson 3 episodes
1987 Angel Heart Toots Sweet Band – Lead Guitar


  1. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c "Louisiana Music Hall of Fame - DEACON JOHN (MOORE) - 2008". Louisianamusichalloffame.org. Archived from the original on May 11, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  3. ^ Bordelon, Christine. "Faith as deep as the rivers Deacon John has crossed". Clarion Herald.

External links[edit]