Photos: Jonathan Batiste & Stay Human at The American Theater, Hampton, VA
Mark Robbins shares photos from energetic performance by the New Orleans keyboardist and his band
Sitting at the grand piano, photographing his audience, Jonathan Batiste announced he didn't want to look out from the stage and not see them dancing. Dance they did from start to finish with the young band ending up down on the theater floor weaving in and out of rows of seats among the hand clapping appreciative crowd until finally settling down in a row of their own and performing a jubilant version of "On the Sunny Side of the Street."
Batiste on piano and harmonaboard (a wind instrument cross between a harmonica and accordion) led a stellar group of young musicians through a night of jazz, pop, and Latin ("Why You Gotta Be Like That") music. Joe Saylor and Jamison Ross on percussion, Barry Stephenson on acoustic and electric bass, Ibanda Ruhumbika on tuba and trombone and Eddie Barbash on alto sax created a street party atmosphere and seemed to be having as much fun as the audience.