Campaign for Community


October 2015

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A Conversation with Jon Batiste

Jon Batiste is a New Orleans-bred, New York-based musician, educator and humanitarian. He balances an international performance schedule with his role as bandleader for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Artistic Director At Large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and occasional acting in television and film. Batiste has developed the concept of social music: putting music in an interactive context with the audience. “We call those moments love riots, because the energy is so kinetic and big. It’s people coming together who don’t know each other, and it’s so beautiful.”
His October 17 Annenberg Center concert has created excitement in the graduate student community, and a block of 40 tickets has been sold to grad students through BGAPSA and the Graduate Student Center. Jon Batiste’s concerts attract a widely diverse audience: people of different races, socioeconomic class, and ages are fans. Jon will lead a post-performance discussion about the ability of music to both highlight and bridge differences. This discussion will create the opportunity for grad students and other members of the Penn community to participate in a conversation about music and race and society.