Bridging the Batistes
Last night, funky Meters/Vida Blue/PBS drummer Russell Batiste played host to a guest-laden New Orleans Musician’s Benefit at New York’s Lion’s Den. In addition, the evening doubled as Batiste’s 40th birthday celebration and as such, featured a number of the drummer’s most frequent collaborators. Former New Groove of the Month The Bridge opened the night’s festivities with a single set performance, at the tail end of which Batiste switched off with drummer Mike Gambone. Batiste then took the stage with a core band that included Page McConnell, Bridge guitarist Cris Jacobs, DJ Williams Projekt saxophonist Gordon Jones, as well as Russell’s father David Russell Batiste Sr., himself a former members of the Meters. Recalling the Big Easy’s communal spirit, countless guests performed throughout the night including Adam Deitch, Ween bassist Dave Dreiwitz, members of the Brotherhood of Groove and The Bridge’s Kenny Liner, who beatboxed alongside Batiste. During the group’s surprise second set, Eric Krasno and Ryan Zoidis also joined the group jam which extended well past midnight.
Tonight, Batiste will perform with another selection of friends at Teaneck, NJ’s Mexicali Blues.