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Growing up in western Mass. makes son of music legend 'a more thoughtful musician'

Khalif Neville performs on keyboard with his father Charles Neville on saxophone.
Courtesy of Khalif Neville
Khalif Neville performs on keyboard with his father Charles Neville on saxophone.

Pianist Khalif Neville is an heir of one of the most prominent musical families of the New Orleans music scene. Yet Khalif grew up far from there in Huntington, Massachusetts. That’s where his father Charles Neville moved his family in the 1990s.

And Another Thing devotes Mondays to interviews with a single guest from western New England on a wide range of ideas or concerns. Today we meet Khalif Neville.

Charles Neville, known as “horn man,” was a saxophone player best remembered as one of the Neville Brothers. Neville died in his home April 26, 2018. His son Khalif devotes part of his musical efforts to keeping alive the memory of his father and his music.

The work of Charles Neville is the focus of several exhibits at the Springfield Museums through November 28.

Khalif Neville has no regrets about becoming a musician in the Pioneer Valley, instead of New Orleans, when most of his family pursued their careers.

“Obviously, it's a little more of a party scene there than around here,” Neville told And Another Thing, “I became a more thoughtful musician, and frankly, was able to develop my own sound and chops a little bit more up here than I would have if I was just gigging all the time and in one of those places. So, I'm really grateful for it.

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