Jazz Pianist Jon Batiste and Stay Human to Perform in Zankel Hall, 10/12
Jon Batiste, Stay Human, Zankel Hall, Jazz, Shape of Jazz series
On Saturday, October 12 at 9:00 p.m., pianist Jon Batiste brings his musical collective Stay Human featuring Eddie Barbash (alto saxophone, washboard), Ibanda Ruhumbika (tuba, trombone), and Joe Saylor (drums, tambourine) with bassist Barry Stephenson and drummer Jamison Ross to Zankel Hall. Batiste, a member of the legendary Louisiana Batiste lineage of musicians, has cultivated a musical space all his own through collaborations with acclaimed musicians across musical genres, recordings as a leader, performances in more than 40 countries, and appearances as an actor in both film and television. Equally at home performing in a second line on the streets of New Orleans as in renowned concert halls around the world, for this concert, he showcases his virtuosic piano skills and his clever use of the melodica for an energetic performance with Stay Human. This concert is presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment LLC.
Jon Batiste's approach to music is evident in both the moniker Stay Human, and in the name of his forthcoming album Social Music (Razor & Tie), which is to be released just three days after his Carnegie Hall performance on October 15. He explains, "The purpose of this music is to bring people together from all walks of life by creating a montage of many different music traditions and playing it with the spirit of inclusiveness. That intent is what gives these different styles cohesion, and that's why I decided to call it 'social music.'" He continues, "We are in a technological age, and Social Music aims to reflect that spirit of advancement, collaboration, and connectivity while still remaining human, and Stay Human, then, is a reminder of what connects us all. It's our mantra. With so many ways to communicate at our disposal, we must not forget the transformative power of a live music experience and genuine human exchange."
Often using Twitter and Facebook to announce their plans, Batiste and Stay Human have performed spontaneous concerts (or "loveriots") in New York City subways and other non-traditional venues to bring people out of their preconceived notions about jazz and where it is appropriate to listen to live music. He notes, "If you're going to call it social music then you have to figure out ways to bring your music to the people. You want to play for people who might have never considered going to a concert. Ultimately it's about breaking down the walls between the musicians and the audience and showing them that we all share the same humanity."
Prior to this performance, starting at 8:00 p.m., ticketholders are invited to enjoy Late Nights at Zankel Hall, a laid-back pre-concert experience. The first 200 ticketholders to arrive will receive a complimentary drink courtesy of Carnegie Hall. For more information, please visitcarnegiehall.org/latenights. Opened in September 2003, Zankel Hall-Carnegie Hall's modern, underground performance space-celebrates its tenth anniversary this season with concerts that reflect the wide variety of music for which the venue has become known, including appearances by up-and-coming and established artists in the classical, jazz, world music, and pop genres.
About the Artists:
Two essential criteria-peerless artistry combined with the uplifting pleasure of entertainment-exist squarely at the heart of pianist Jon Batiste's musical vision, and they are both evident in each note of Social Music (Razor & Tie), the forthcoming album by Batiste and his musical collective, Stay Human, a quartet comprising Batiste on piano, vocals and melodica (which he has renamed the harmonaboard); Eddie Barbash on alto saxophone; Ibanda Ruhumbika on tuba; and Joe Saylor on drums. Stay Human has evolved over the past eight years, running the spectrum from a jazz trio, to a quintet, to a big band with horns, and the latest release Social Music reflects that extraordinary range. Throughout the album, elements of jazz, classical music, and Americana nuzzle up against beats that could light up a club dance floor, and standards like "St. James Infirmary" and "Naima's Love Song" nestle alongside spoken-word samples like "The Jazzman Speaks" (featuring the voice of jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton) and statements of spiritual yearning like "Let God Lead."