Jon Batiste And Stay Human: Newport Jazz 2014

An expanded version of the Stay Human band played Newport's main stage. Credit Adam Kissick for NPR
An expanded version of the Stay Human band played Newport’s main stage.
Credit Adam Kissick for NPR

Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from NPR

Jon Batiste has a way with exits, as musicians from New Orleans tend to. Days before his day-ending set at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival, the pianist and singer walked out of The Colbert Report‘s theater with a studio audience and a dancing Stephen Colbert in tow. And following a high-energy Newport set — where his expanded Stay Human band played turbocharged versions of standards, rags and his own party anthems — he switched from piano to melodica and led the band into the main stage audience.

Batiste’s newest album is called Social Music, and it’s easy to see how he could catalyze a gathering. As he paraded into the crowd, he switched into a number you might hear at a New Orleans jazz funeral parade, one that signaled his intent with a wink: “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.”

Set List
  • “My Favorite Things”
  • “On The Sunny Side Of The Street”
  • “People In The World”
  • “Shreveport Stomp”
  • “It’s Alright (Why You Gotta)”
  • “The Star-Spangled Banner”
  • “St. James Infirmary”
  • “The Entertainer”
  • “Just A Closer Walk With Thee”

Jon Batiste, piano/melodica/voice; Eddie Barbash, alto saxophone; Ibanda Ruhumbika, tuba; Barry Stevenson, banjo/bass; Joe Saylor, drums; Jamison Ross, keyboard/percussion/voice. With Grace Kelly, alto saxophone.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *