Jon Batiste ‘Stays Human’

Musician Jonathan Batiste rocked the Green Music Center last Saturday for his first “Stay Human” tour. The audience was out of their seats for the full hour that Batiste performed, dancing and cheering to the band’s electrifying jazz numbers. 

Growing up in Louisiana, Batiste comes from a long line of musicians. He has been playing piano since the age of 12 and focuses on instrumental and vocal jazz. 

Batiste has performed in over 40 countries and is considered to be an iconic artist of his generation at just 25 years old.

Batiste’s main goal for the tour is to “bring people together from all walks of life,” according to an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He calls it “social music.”

As Batiste made his way to the stage he wore an interesting outfit choice made up of tribal pants and a military jacket. He was soon accompanied by five other band members who added instruments such as the saxophone, drums, a tuba and a bass.  

Batiste’s fingers moved lightning fast on the piano which made audience members entranced by his skill. Each band member was having a blast on stage, and it was easy to see how much they were enjoying playing for the crowd.

In Batiste’s third number he sang about Florence, Italy and the great moments he experienced. It was entitled, “San Spirito.”

The melody and lyrics captured the essence of Florence, and it was a beautiful piece to listen to.

Batiste asked the audience to stand up at the end of the number.

“We want you to get free,” said Batiste. “You can laugh, you can cry, you can get up and do a little shimmy.”

The lighting and acoustics in Weill Hall were sensational, as each color casted on the stage was a representation of each of the songs different moods. 

The band walked away and intermingled with the audience as the drummer of the band, Joe Saylor, took the stage alone.

In Saylor’s solo performance, he used one piece of his drum set to make a variety of rhythms. Saylor also used his body and each part of the instrument to make different sounds. 

The band made its way back to stage in more casual attire consisting of jeans and blazers. They sang a number entitled, “Express Yourself.” 

It was soulful and the energy of the audience came alive. This song is where the saxophonist was able to shine and show their expertise.

The talent and skill that each band member possessed was beyond impressive. One band member was even playing three instruments all at once. 

The passion that they each shared for music could be seen in each note they played. 

The last number entitled “It’s Alright” gave off a tango feeling and had a variety of emotions regarding Batiste’s heart being played with.

Batiste didn’t hold back in the number with the way he talked, yelled, and made humorous noises, representing his annoyance of why women “Gotta be like that.” 

The audience sang along with the words and laughed at his comedic references to calling women and them wanting nothing to do with him.

Batiste was more than comfortable on the stage and it sometimes even seemed like he was making it up as he went. It was incredible watching such a true talent. 

The concert was uplifting and made the crowd feel comfortable to dance and sing in any way they wanted too. Batiste had a natural way of making each individual feel free. It was truly a sight to behold.

Batiste and his “Stay Human” tour is still going until Jan. 16, 2014 and the album is available to purchase on iTunes.