“A gifted musician with boundless artistic ambition,” (Mix) Louisiana native JON BATISTE is equally at home in the role of Stephen Colbert’s “crowd-thrilling rebel bandleader” (Rolling Stone) as leading one of his signature impromptu “love riot” street parades, as fluent in hip-hop and funk as in the great NoLA piano tradition he comes from. He curates this evening start to finish; expect an unexpected collection of special guests rotating in and out, with Batiste’s stellar band STAY HUMAN at the center.
The New Orleans-bred, New York-based musician, educator and humanitarian 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 Stay Human soon after. Now he balances a demanding international performance schedule with his role as Artistic Director at Large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, as music director and bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and occasional acting gigs, like playing himself on the HBO series Treme or his recent role in director Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer.