Inspired by Alice in Wonderland
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As seen on Steven Colbert's Late Show, Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human can really move a live audience. The New Orleans-bred, New York-based musician is somewhat of an enigma thanks to his diverse mix of influences. Born into a long lineage of Louisiana musicians, Batiste grew up playing...
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The New Orleans-bred, New York-based musician is somewhat of an enigma thanks to his diverse mix of influences. Born into a long lineage of Louisiana musicians, Batiste grew up playing percussion in his family’s band before switching to piano when he was 11 years old. He went on to study at the Juilliard School and formed his band, Stay Human, soon after. Now he balances a demanding international performance schedule—which often includes his signature, impromptu ‘love riot’ street parades—with his role as Artistic Director At Large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and occasional acting gigs, like playing himself on the HBO series Treme or his most recent role in director Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer.
This perfectly titled album is a mash-up of time and tempo, jazz and pop, rhythm and blues, modern tunes and warhorses. Sparked by Jon Batiste’s New Orleans-steeped piano, jaunty vocals and melodica (he calls it a “harmonaboard”), Social Music is all about engagement.
Music this eclectic and user-friendly could make jazz popular again. Young Batiste can’t remember such days. But he’s doing his best to bring them back. - Carlo Wolff, JazzTimes