On Saturday, August 5, 2023. At the annual Newport Jazz Festival, Jon Batiste closed the Fort Stage.
Jon assembled his big band for the show. With all the band members dressed in classic black and white. Jon entered the stage sporting a bright red tuxedo with a big smile and high energy. After a warm welcome from the crowd. Jon sat down on the edge of the stage and informed everyone “this not a performance, but a spiritual experience.”
Jon opened to show with a song about worship, relationships and spirituality. Maybe something from his new album to be released on August 18.
Jon then jumped on the piano and led the band into the classic R&B tune “Let The Good Times Roll”.
After that booty shaking session. Jon slowed the pace down with a solo piece channeling James Booker meets Beethoven.
The next song which showcased the big band. Was an original composition, never performed before, for an audience entitled "The Hawk."
Jon then jumped up, grabbed a mic and burst into his tune “I Need You."
Jon again sat behind the piano and sang the blues tune “Night Time, Is The Right Time” with a tremendous vocalist name Desi, singing the famous chorus line “baby”.
After that song Jon jumped back up, and began singing the song “Freedom." Another hit from the “I Need You” CD.
Once again, Jon slowed the pace with a tune from the new CD tilted "Drink Water." Asking the audience to love one another and have faith that the world can be a better place.
Jon then disappeared backstage, maybe to get a drink of water. When he returned, he went back to the piano and began to channel Fats Waller, Scott Joplin medley, flowing into “Moon River,” looking up and smiling, seeming to think of someone special.
Ending the show, the drummer and tuba players began a second line beat and led into Jon’s tune “I Feel Good." As with a lot of Jon”s shows, the set ended with a “love riot” as Jon calls it. Where he grabs his melodica, leaves the stage and leads the band through the crowd with everyone dancing and singing.
After the “love riot” and the band returned to the stage. The audience did not even request an encore. As I guess, they were well rewarded.