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February 4, 2014

Samford's Wright Center presents Jon Batiste and his band, Stay Human

BIRMINGHAM — Samford University's Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center continues its Signature Series with an afternoon performance by jazz artist Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human. The concert is Sunday, Feb. 23, at 4 p.m. in Samford's Brock Recital Hall. Tickets are $20, with student tickets just $10. Samford students, faculty, and staff receive one complimentary ticket. Tickets are available online at tickets.samford.edu or by calling the Samford Arts Box Office at 205-726-2853. Regular box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The concert will feature tracks from the band's debut album "Social Music," as well as original works and classics from the jazz, funk and soul songbooks. Despite his young age, Batiste is renowned for his showmanship and high energy performances featuring surprise guests, audience interaction and the band itself playing through the audience, according to Wright Center Director Sean Wright.

About the band, the New York Daily News said, "It's almost impossible to hear and see Batiste in person and not smile." Nashville Scene remarked, "The audience buzzes with an excitement that most of the better-known jazz acts fail to elicit." And the Financial Times noted, "[Batiste] presents his band with an insouciant Big Easy charm...where anything could happen."

"Jon Batiste is considered by many to be one of the most exciting new crossover talents on the scene today," said Wright. "We are thrilled to bring him to Samford for the first time. His infectious brand of music will bring long-time jazz fans and new jazz audiences alike to their feet. Between his performance and master classes with students, we know he'll make a lasting impact in Birmingham."

"Social Music" reflects the dapper 26-year-old Batiste's evolution over the past several years. "This album documents the evolution of the band," Batiste said.

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