Johnathon Baptiste Trio Visits Florida Southern
The Johnathon Baptiste Trio performed at Florida Southern for the second time this year, performing a variety of classic jazz standards by the likes of Miles Davis and others as well as original compositions by the group.
Leader and bassist Johnathon Baptiste formed the group eight or so months ago and have been touring and performing at a variety of events since forming. He had been playing with Liston Gregory, the pianist, for a while and was introduced to the drummer Gerald Law through Gregory since the two had grown up together.
The group first performed back in September to help kick off Hispanic Heritage month. This visit was to help celebrate Black History Month. The performance lasted two and a half hours and featured one intermission.
Baptiste’s love and appreciation of music started at a young age growing up in a church.
“I was always around music, there was music was being played everywhere,” Baptiste said. “Believe it or not, when I was a kid I had to sing in a play in elementary school.”
His biggest influence in music is famous Jazz saxophonist James Carter.
“The music he writes is amazing, and his music and his personality really captures me,” Baptiste said. “I feel like he’s me but older.”
Outside of his music, another influence in his life author, poet and civil rights activist James Baldwin.
“I love his books and I love the speeches he gave. He was really trying to convince the nation Black people were humans too. Which makes sense now, but a lot of people didn’t think that way then.”