March 17th, 2016 | Sarah Mason, HarvestMoon
Maybe you’ve seen him on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. His energy is infectious, his smile lights up the stage, and we could watch him play the “harmonaboard” all night! (Yes, that’s what that cool kind of harmonica and keyboard is called.) He’s the official band leader and music director for Colbert’s show but that’s just one of his many gigs. The New Orleans-bred, New York-based Jon Batiste is one hot, gifted musician.
Born to a long lineage of Louisiana musicians, and with rhythm and blues at his core, Batiste’s music encompasses every genre. In a flash, he transitions from belting a note to busting a dance move to wailing on his signature harmonaboard to commanding the piano with accomplished skill and artistry, all capped by his dapper sense of style. This jaw-dropping talent also plays the Hammond organ, the bass, and sings.
Batiste is a pied piper. His mission has been to take his music straight to the people, and where are the people? Outside! Batiste and his band, Stay Human, gained fame in his adopted hometown of New York for playing sets on the subway, bringing smiles to hundreds of commuters’ faces over the years. Either on tour or during time off, the band can be seen spontaneously playing in non-traditional venues and starting impromptu demonstrations through the streets which Batiste and the band have termed as “Love Riots.”
Bring it on, Jon! We can’t wait for your musical riot in Mammoth!