Jon Batiste embodies a spectrum of Black musical legacies at Fillmore Philly - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
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Some people are born into this world with a predetermined purpose. A purpose that can never be questioned due to the pure preternatural talent that oozes through their veins. When it comes to the Louisiana-born Jon Batiste, a lifestyle other than being a dynamite singer, musician, and performer, was never an option.

On Sunday, the one-time Oscar and five-time Grammys winner tore the roof of Northern Liberties’ Fillmore. Batiste and his huge band and backup singers kicked off the evening with “Tell The Truth” followed by ” FREEDOM” and “Raindance.” A smile was plastered across his face for the duration of the show.

Jon Batiste | photo by Melissa Simpson for WXPN

In his musical stylings and dance moves, Batiste pulled from a wide range of Black musical legacies – jazz, blues, hip-hop, bounce, funk and so much more. There were times during the show when you could have sworn Michael Jackson or James Brown were the ones who were actually on the stage.

It would be in poor form not to mention his amazing dancers, The Jonnets, who appeared on stage multiple times throughout the night to elevate the energy of a packed house that was already operating at a high voltage. Batitse’s New Orleans roots were amplified with the help of their Nola Bounce choreography.

Jon Batiste | photo by Melissa Simpson for WXPN

About two-thirds of the way through the evening, Batiste left the stage only to come back for a rather lengthy encore. He started with a playful rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” He followed that with a few covers that he played on his infamous melodica which included “You Are My Sunshine,” and two Fugees covers: “Killing Me Softly” and “Ready or Not.” Of course the crowd sang along to every word.

For the finale, Batiste, his dancers, and some members of his band thrust themselves into the crowd, waded a sea of excited fans, and walked to the second level of the stage before they concluded the show behind closed doors.

Without question, Batiste is one of the greatest performers of our generation. He’s dynamic, present, and incalculably talented. His propensity for musicality is hardwired in his DNA. And with a few Grammys and an Oscar, it’s only a matter of time before he hits EGOT status.

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