Saturday’s episode of Austin City Limits saw Brandon “Taz” Niederauer join Jon Batiste and his band for the entirety of his one-hour performance.
Throughout the ACL appearance, originally filmed back on July 18th at Austin, TX’s Moody Theater, Batiste and company performed a variety of songs from his latest studio album, 2021’s WE ARE.
The 11-person band—which featured multiple drummers and percussionists, keys, guitar, bass, and three backup singers in addition to Batiste and Taz—kicked off the show with the WE ARE title track. Donning a cowboy hat, boots, and a leather suit, Batiste just handled vocal duties on this track—which included a quick vocal segue into The Notorious B.I.G.‘s “Juicy”—before sliding over to his grand piano for “I NEED YOU”.
Batiste then returned to “WE ARE”, this time with the help of a full brass band playing from the crowd, before a quick romp through the hip-hop flavored “BOY HOOD” saw Taz add flavorful licks to give the song quite a different feel from the album cut featuring PJ Morton and Trombone Shorty.
A soulful rendition of Bill Withers‘ “Lean on Me” then set up another opportunity for Batiste to show off his rapping skills with “WHATCHUTALKINBOUT”. Taz took center stage for the first time on this one, cooking up heavily distorted chords and trading solos with the guitarist from Batiste’s backing band.
Showing stellar musicianship, Batiste then picked up a guitar of his own for “TELL THE TRUTH”. Some lengthy piano improvisation followed, which led to takes on “CRY” and “FREEDOM” before the show-closing piano ballad, “Don’t Stop”.
Below, check out the full Jon Batiste performance on Austin City Limits with Brandon “Taz” Niederauer. Jon Batiste currently has two scheduled tour dates in 2022, one at Tucson Jazz Festival in Tucson, AZ (1/21) and the other at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY (2/19). Head here for tickets.
Additionally, Taz has several dates coming up in 2021 and 2022, beginning with a show at The Hollow Bar + Kitchen in Albany, NY on October 23rd, followed by shows at Space Ballroom in Hamden, CT (11/13); Brooklyn Made in Kings County, NY (11/18); Brooklyn Bowl Philly in Philadelphia, PA (12/4); and more. Head here for tickets and more information.
Jon Batiste ft. Brandon “Taz” Niederauer – Austin City Limits – 10/16/21