Classical music sometimes seems worlds away from more contemporary genres. And yet, it is all connected. Grammy Award winner Jon Batiste is keenly aware of this, having received training in both classical and jazz training, as well as having experimented with pop and rock in his latest albums. When asked in an interview about breaking musical barriers, he took to the piano, and let the first notes from Beethoven's “Für Elise” do the explaining.
Batiste appeared on the fourth season of Who’s Talking with Chris Wallace?, a show where the newscaster interviews some of the biggest names in news and entertainment. With the composer sitting by the piano and the journalist observing from the side, Wallace asks Batiste to show him how to go from one genre to another. Batiste laughs with excitement before saying “Yeah, of course. We were just messing around. Being that we were at Julliard, you know? Beethoven, you know?”
The composer then begins to play the world famous “Für Elise,” as Wallace looks with a big smile on his face. His pristine and effortless interpretation brings back to life the tune the way it was written in the 19th century.”But you know, the blues,” says Batiste, before going into the first notes of “Für Elise,” but playing with the surrounding keys with the appropriate notes and speed to make it sound like a blues song written a hundred years later in the southern U.S.
Batiste experiments without missing a beat, and having proved his point, he switches to yet another genre. “And gospel,” he announces. The transition is once again smooth and seamless. Experimenting with the notes, the music comes naturally to Batiste. The musician then laughs with excitement, channeling the charming energy of the notes he just played. Dumbfounded and almost hypnotized, Wallace simply exclaims, “That is amazing.”
You can watch this enthralling encounter in the video below, and watch the whole interview on Max. To explore Batiste's musical diversity even further, you can listen to his latest album, World Music Radio, on Spotify.
When asked in an interview about breaking musical barriers, Grammy Award winner Jon Batiste took to the piano, and let the first notes from Beethoven's “Für Elise” do the explaining.
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