Jon Batiste to Perform at Sing for Hope's 2015 Gala at TriBeCa Rooftop Next Month
Jon Batiste, the newly appointed 28-year-old musical director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is a New Orleans-bred, Juilliard-trained, fully irresistible musical force. Regularly sharing his artistry in concert halls around the world, Jon is also known for his spontaneous performances in subways, parks, and city streets. As Ben Ratliff of The New York Times asked earlier this week, "What kind of late-night talk-show bandleader is he going to be? What does it mean that a jazz pianist from Kenner, La., just outside of New Orleans, is running one of the most visible musical platforms in the country?"
Supporters of Sing for Hope (www.singforhope.org) will soon have a chance to find out. On Monday, October 26, at TriBeCa Rooftop, the New York City-based "arts peace corps" organization will produce its ninth annual Sing for Hope Gala in support of its arts outreach programs for communities in need. Co-Chaired by Sing for Hope champions Renée Fleming, Ann Ziff, Margie Loeb, and Muhammad Yunus, with Vice-Chairs The Arnhold Family, the gala will feature Mr. Batiste in an intimate performance, along with some exciting surprise musical guests.
Mr. Batiste's performance at TriBeCa Rooftop is motivated by his belief in Sing for Hope's "art for all" programs, which range from after-school arts classes for at-risk youth to hospital performances to the Sing for Hope Pianos that appear each summer in the city's parks and public spaces. In Batiste's words, "Art is a language that connects us all, and Sing for Hope's arts outreach programs make sure that everybody - our school kids, our elders, our vets, everybody - gets invited in."
A Steinway & Sons artist, Batiste will play a special concert grand piano on loan from the company, one of the evening's sponsors. In the words of Sing for Hope Co-Founders Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, "We are thrilled once again to have the generous support of Steinway & Sons. From our student days at Juilliard onward, we've always felt (like all musicians!) that Steinway is the piano you dream of having at your fingertips. In light of our commitment to the public Sing for Hope Pianos across the five boroughs, Steinway's generosity feels particularly meaningful."
The 2015 Sing for Hope Gala Honoree is Eva Haller, the beloved Chair Emeritus of Sing for Hope. Eva helped to found the organization in 2006, and has remained one of its most impassioned supporters. When asked about her reason for supporting Sing for Hope, Haller speaks eloquently of how access to music in post-war Hungary allowed her to "feel human" once again, and how important it is "to ensure creative arts opportunities for individuals and communities who are working to uplift themselves and to heal."
Other friends of the organization lending their support to the 2015 Sing for Hope Gala as part of the host committee include Arianna Huffington, Diana & Joel Peterson, Joan & Barry Tucker, Shelley & Donald Rubin, Deborah & Craig Cogut, Monica Winsor & Josh Mailman, Kim Brizzolara, Dr. William Isacoff, Joshua Cohen, Peter Culver, Mark Epstein, Peter Goldmark, Susie Hovsepian, Elizabeth Sarquis, Cynthia Vance & Bob Abrams, Polly & Mike Brandmeyer, and Elias & Sarah Roman. Furthermore, in addition to the Sing for Hope board members Ms. Fleming, Ms. Loeb, Ms. Ziff, and Dr. Yunus serving as Co-Chairs, other board members committed to the event's success include Plácido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Jeffrey Chertoff, Valerie Demont, Flavia Gale, Annabelle Garrett, Linda E. Johnson, Andrea Jung, Lilia Marini-Calves, Board Chair David Miller, Roland Scahill, Cara Smyth, Kara Unterberg, Billy Weisman, and Damian Woetzel.
According to the organization, the event is selling briskly, but there are still tickets and preferred tables available at gala.singforhope.org or by contacting the Sing for Hope team at 212-966-5955.