Jewish Journal

Jon Batiste and his Band Stay Human

by Joy Bennett

August 23, 2013 | 1:42 am

Photo courtesy jonbatiste.com

Sometimes in life you get lucky.  I was recently invited to see Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human the other night at Hotel Cafe, a small, hot Los Angeles nightspot that features outstanding singer/songwriters seven nights a week.  The venue alone was worth the trip, it was adorable, with delicious light food, drinks, great acoustics, and friendly people.  Check out their fantastic reviews on Yelp if you don't believe me, this place is awesome!  Parking is by valet or pay at a lot, on-street parking is quite rare when it gets busy in this neighborhood. 

Then I heard Jon's unmistakable, exhilarating sound.  Jon Batiste is a born musician, he plays several instruments, sings like an angel, and has a New Orleans's style jazz/blues/rock/fusion sound that is most infectious.  He and his family are part of the inspiration for HBO's excellent series Treme, about New Orleans and the musicians and people that live there.  Mr. Batiste has also appeared on the show.  He has a new album called Social Music coming out on October 15, 2013, and they played several songs from it.  Mr. Batiste and his music are definitely worth checking out. 

Jon Batiste is a wonderful musician, anything he plays sound magic.  I have never heard ragtime played with so much sophisticated cool.  The large turnout at Hotel Cafe was most appreciative, and this rowdy audience turned politely quiet when the music demanded it.  The music was so good all you could do is close your eyes, drink it in, and shuffle your feet in rapture.  

The Hotel Cafe has an impressive line-up seven nights a week of outstanding talent, this could very well become my new favorite hot spot. Check out Jon Batiste and his Stay Human band here:  jonbatiste.com, and the Hotel Cafe's website is here:  hotelcafe.com.

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Joy Bennett lives in Santa Monica, California and is the author of Under a Quarter Moon, a poetry and short story collection; and a novel called Cruise.  She has also been...

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