Corinne Bailey Rae, PJ Morton, ELEW, and Ethan Iverson will join Jon Batiste for Newport Jazz Festival’s Friday Evening Concert

Jon Batiste at Newport Jazz Festival

It’s always great to watch Jon Batiste on stage, but concert attendees are in for a real treat when Jon Batiste & Friends – Corinne Bailey RaePJ MortonELEW and Ethan Iverson– take over the Friday evening concert at the Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Investment Managers on August 2, at 8:00 pm, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino.

Produced by Jon Batiste, the concert will feature Jon in piano duos with Morton, ELEW and Iverson.

What better musician to perform at one of Newport’s most popular summer events than renowned multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and Music Director of TheLate Show with Stephen Colbert? Jon Batiste is a favorite at the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, where he and his band Stay Human played one set on the Folk stage, two at the Jazz Festival and presented a special performance at the Newport Festivals Foundation Gala in 2015. In 2017, he and George Wein, Chairman of Newport Festivals Foundation and co-founder of the two summer events, walked across the stage together to receive honorary doctorate degrees at Salve Regina University.  In addition, Batiste was the Musical Director of A Change Is GonnaComeat the Newport Folk Festival last year.

A man of many interests and lover of diverse music, Batiste has performed with Stevie Wonder, Prince, Ed Sheeran, Lenny Kravitz, Mavis Staples and Willie Nelson, among others. He tours the world with Stay Human, and, since 2015, appears with them nightly as bandleader for Stephen Colbert. He also has released 11 recordings since 2005, including his latest, Hollywood Africans, his intimate take on some of his original music and jazz standards from the early jazz of New Orleans to the present day. He was cast in three seasons of the HBO television series, Treme, and in Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer. His busy schedule also includes serving as the Music Director of The Atlanticand the Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. 

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From Leeds, England, singer/songwriter/musician Corinne Bailey Rae shot to stardom with her self-titled #1 UK debut album in 2006, featuring the hits “Put Your Records One” and “Like A Star.” The two-time GRAMMY winner received her first in 2008 for Album of the Year when featured on Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters and the second for her EP, Is This Love (Best R&B Performance). Over the years, her tours have included the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Playboy Jazz Fest at the Hollywood Bowl, Singapore Jazz Festival, Glastonbury and Newport Folk Festival. Also a composer for films (Stan Lee’s Lucky Manand Fifty Shades Darker), Corinne continues to collaborate and perform with artists across musical genres. Corinne Bailey Rae performs her own set at Fort Adams on Friday. 

Like many artists, New Orleans-born keyboardist, singer, songwriter and record producer, PJ Morton, grew up in the church. His father is gospel recording artist Bishop Paul Morton and his mother is Pastor Debra Morton. In addition to performing his own music, since 2010 PJ has been one of the keyboardists for the pop rock band Maroon 5. He has also produced and written for Jermaine Dupri, LL Cool J, Jagged Edge, Monica, India.Arie, Heather Headley and gospel musicians Fred Hammond, Men of Standard and Brian Courtney Wilson. In 2009, he published a book entitled WhyCan’tISingAbout Love?  PJ Morton debuts at Fort Adams with his own band on Sunday, August 4. 

ELEW (aka Eric Lewis) is a jazz pianist who doesn’t let boundaries hold him. After winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, he went on to play with numerous musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson, Elvin Jones, Ornette Coleman, Jon Hendricks, Roy Hargrove, Natalie Cole, Esperanza Spalding, The Roots and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He became interested in rock music and kicked off a solo career as a crossover musician, quickly gaining recognition for his instrumental “Rockjazz” piano covers of mainstream rock hits. He released his first album of instrumental covers, entitled ELEW Rockjazz Vol. 1, on his own label, Ninjazz Entertainment, in March 2010. He continues to present his dynamic, unconventional style on stages around the world. ELEW performs with his band at the Newport Jazz Festival on Sunday, August 4. 

Pianist, composer, and writer Ethan Iverson was a founding member of The Bad Plus, a game-changing collective with Reid Anderson and David King. He also has performed with the Billy Hart quartet for more than a decade and occasionally performs with elder statesmen Albert “Tootie” Heath and Ron Carter. For over 15 years Iverson’s website, Do the Math, has been a repository of musician-to-musician interviews and analysis. In 2017, Iverson premiered the score “Pepperland” for the Mark Morris Dance Group and with Aaron Greenwald co-curated a major centennial celebration of Thelonious Monk at Duke University. The following year, Iverson premiered Concerto to Scale with the American Composers Orchestra and released Temporary Kings, a duo album with Mark Turner on ECM. Ethan Iverson performs at Fort Adams on Friday with The Billy Hart Quartet; his former band, The Bad Plus, now with Orrin Evans on piano, takes the Newport Jazz Festival stage that same day; Ron Carter Trio performs on Saturday, August 3. 

All tickets for the Friday evening concert and cocktail party are available on the Festival web site at https://newportjazz.org/ithof. Service charges apply to all tickets ordered on line.  The concert is a reserved seating event and tickets sell out quickly. There is a six-ticket limit per household. The Newport Jazz Festival Friday evening cocktail party on the Horseshoe Piazza welcomes a limited number of attendees for pre-concert socializing with music, food and beverages. Tickets include open bar and hors d’oeuvres.Tickets are limited and exclusively for concertgoers. Party attendees must purchase a separate ticket to the Festival concert.

The Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Investment Managers, produced by Newport Festivals Foundation, takes place August 2-4, 2019 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino and Fort Adams State Park. In addition to Jon Batiste & Friends, artists include Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective, Thundercat, Dianne Reeves, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sons of Kemet, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, The Ron Carter Trio, Buika, Makaya McCraven and many more.

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