Band leader for Stephen Colbert joins Gilmore Keyboard Festival

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KALAMAZOO, MI — The musical talent of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” will be joining the 15th Gilmore International Keyboard Festival this spring.

Jon Batiste, an internationally recognized pianist, vocalist, percussionist, and band leader, will be performing with his band 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 3 at Chenery Auditorium in Kalamazoo. Tickets are available at thegilmore.com.

In addition to his “Late Show” schedule, Batise serves as Artistic Director At Large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Batiste was also the recipient of the inaugural Benny Golson Award from the city of Philadelphia and the American Jazz Museum Lifetime Achievement Award, according to the press release.

The keyboard festival, created in 1989 to honor the legacy of Irving S. Gilmore, will take place April 22 through May 10.

It was once described as “the largest gathering of piano talent in the Western Hemisphere,” by National Public Radio.

A full schedule is posted on the Gilmore website including the newly announced pianist Orli Shaham alongside the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Shaham was the 1995 Gilmore Young Artist and will be stepping in for the previously announced pianist Ingrid Fliter.

The three-week festival will feature 12 categories of events ranging from solo piano recitals to immersive art. A schedule can be found on the Gilmore website.

The Gilmore Awards, a regular series of awards is presented to pianists based on a non-competitive process. The organization also commissions composers to create new works for the keyboard. Eight Gilmore Artists and 36 Gilmore Young Artists have been recognized, and 34 new works have been created for the piano, according to the press release.

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