Jonathan Batiste knows jazz. At 26, the Juilliard graduate and acolyte of luminaries like Bruce Hornsby, Wynton Marsalis and Henry Butler is the associate artistic director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. He grew up steeped in New Orleans jazz culture and was featured on “Treme” and in Spike Lee’s “Red Hook Summer.” (That’s him on the melodica and black Saints hat in the above subway video.)
But just because Batiste knows jazz doesn’t mean he cares whether you do or not. “There’s a snobbish mentality in the jazz scene where people think if they don’t know a pile of history or who played on what record they can’t have an opinion about the music,” he told the New York Times earlier this year.
Batiste’s live shows are all-inclusive, energetic affairs. If you’ve been intimidated by the jazz scene in the past, his quartet’s stint at Bohemian Caverns Friday and Saturday makes for a welcoming entry point. It’s one of the Going Out Guide’s top picks for the weekend ahead.