Jon Batiste and Stay Human Bring Social Music to Webster Hall

April 17th, 2014

Like many Louisiana Batistes before him, Jon Batiste is one hell of a musician. Growing up in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, he began performing with his family’s band, the Batiste Brothers Band—first on percussion and drums before moving on to the piano. Having since gotten a master’s degree from Julliard, he also happens to be a bit of a Renaissance man, serving as an artistic director at Harlem’s National Jazz Museum and being on the board at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (where he graduated alongside Trombone Shorty). But mostly, and rightly so, Batiste (above, performing “Express Yourself (Say Yes)”) is known for his jazz-influenced music as a pianist, singer, bandleader and composer. Along with Julliard pals Eddie Barabash (sax), Ibanda Ruhumbika (tuba) and Joe Saylor (drums), he released his debut album as Jon Batiste and Stay Human, the terrific jazz-, funk-, classical- and pop-tinged Social Music (stream it below), late last year. Relix says the four “are specialists in nonspecializing—they glide and slide easily from genre to genre, tempo to tempo, mood to mood.” And they’re sure to put you in a great mood on Saturday night at Webster Hall.