Tickling the ivories runs in the family for Pat O’s pianist and St. Louis Cathedral organist

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)-  Some may say, they’re as different as night and day…

The piano player at Pat O’Brien’s bar and the organist at St. Louis Cathedral don’t seem to have much in common.

But as News with a Twist Reporter, Kenny Lopez found out the two share a special connection!

In the still of the night, blocks away from St. Louis Cathedral in the heart of the French quarter at the world-famous, Pat O’s plays a piano woman…Jan Cox.

For 26 years, she’s been tickling the ivories for guests while they drink their “Hurricanes”.

“The times I like best are when I’m singing for someone to celebrate their special occasions.  Pat O’Brien’s is a great place to be.  I love my job and I hope the guests come in for more than just the “Hurricanes,” she said.

As the night turns to day, someone very close to Jan will be tapping away on the keys of the organ for the masses at St. Louis Cathedral.

27-year old, Jesse Reeks is the Cathedral’s organist, and you guessed it, Jan from Pat O’s is his mother.

“My mom was my first piano teacher.  There isn’t a lot I can teach my mom.  She’s more extroverted than I am,” Reeks said.

“I was always playing around him from the time he was born.  I would practice with him on my lap when he was a baby,” she said.

Jan started playing at Pat O’s when young Jesse was just 1-years old.  He’s learned a lot from his mom.

“I definitely don’t take it for granted, the genetics and the music in my family,” he said.

His father and sister are also heavily involved in music.

Jesse said his mom still inspires him.

“I want him to feel more confident about what he’s doing.  I feel like he really has a lot to offer,” his mother said.

From church music to bar music…both of them have Master’s degrees in music and love their jobs, but their styles are as different as night and day.

“I think the Cathedral’s out of my league,”  she said.

“Pat O’s would definitely be out of my comfort zone, and I’m sure she’s seen more interesting sights than I’ve seen,”  he said.

At the root of it all, they don’t seem to share many similarities, other than their family ties and love for music.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about music making.  We both have respect for each others fields.  We both get to entertain locals and out-of-town guests, just in different settings,”  Reeks said.

Reeks plays at St. Louis Cathedral Saturday evenings at 5 p.m., Sundays at 9  and 11 a.m.  He also plays all the feast days, weddings and funerals.

His mother, Jan plays at Pat O’s on Monday and Tuesday nights.  Friday thru Sunday she performs the matinee shows.

 

 

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