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Jon Batiste: New Yorleanian

On Jelly Roll Morton, "Treme," his recent record & more

Jonathan Batiste
Jon Batiste

In October, New York-based New Orleans native Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human released Social Music (Razor & Tie), their debut full-length album, featuring Batiste on piano, vocals and melodica, Eddie Barbash on alto saxophone and washboard, Joe Saylor on drums and tambourine and Ibanda Ruhumbika on tuba and trombone. The 27-year-old rising star played Carnegie Hall that same month and will embark on a national and European tour through most of 2014, stopping in schools along the way to implement a jazz education curriculum developed through his role as artistic director at large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

The last scion of a New Orleans brass-band dynasty that inspired HBO’s Treme, Batiste holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Juilliard, merging his classical training with soul-drenched Ninth Ward brio. He recently caught up with JazzTimes on the phone, holding forth on the positive aspects of social networking, Jelly Roll Morton, his commitment to community, and the development of a jazz video game.

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