Basquiat the Musical | Key Art

A New Musical Based on the Life and Art of JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT,
directed by Tony Award® winner JOHN DOYLE (The Color Purple, Sweeney Todd)
with Music and Lyrics by JON BATISTE ("The Late Show with Stephen Colbert")

A New Musical Based on the Life and Art of JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT
Directed by Tony Award® Winner JOHN DOYLE (The Color Purple, Sweeney Todd)
Music and Lyrics by JON BATISTE ("The Late Show with Stephen Colbert")


(December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988)

is one of the best known artists of his generation and is widely considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His career in art spanned the late 1970s through the 1980s until his death in 1988, at the age of 27. Basquiat works are edgy and raw, and through a bold sense of color and composition, he maintains a fine balance between seemingly contradictory forces such as control and spontaneity, menace and wit, urban imagery and primitivism. The Basquiat legacy embodies the values and aspirations of young, international urban culture. Basquiat often incorporated words into his paintings. Before his career as a painter began, he produced punk-inspired postcards for sale on the street, and become known for the political–poetical graffiti under the name of SAMO. The conjunction of various media is an integral element of Basquiat's art. His paintings are typically covered with text and codes of all kinds: words, letters, numerals, pictograms, logos, map symbols, diagrams and more, and featured multi-panel paintings and individual canvases with exposed stretcher bars, the surface dense with writing, collage and imagery. Since his death, his artworks have been the focus of major museum shows worldwide, also breaking auction records for the highest price paid for a work by any American artist, for an African-American artist, and for the first work created since 1980 to sell for over $100 million.



is an acclaimed director of musicals, plays, and operas, with a career spanning over 40 years. He received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his Broadway debut, Sweeney Todd. His 2016 production of The Color Purple, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, earned him Tony and Drama Desk nominations. His production of Company won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, and he won UK Best Musical Awards for The Gondoliers (West End), Fiddler on the Roof and Moll Flanders, with nominations for other productions including The Visit (Broadway), A Catered Affair(Broadway) and Mack and Mabel (West End). Work in opera includes Lucia di Lammermoor at Sydney Opera House, Peter Grimes at the Metropolitan Opera and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at L.A. Opera. Recent credits include Passion, Fire and Air, Pacific Overtures, and Carmen Jones at Classic Stage Company, where John is Artistic Director.


(Music & Lyrics)

is a musician, educator, recording artist, composer, bandleader and television personality whose musical skill, artistic vision and exuberant charisma has commanded stages across the world. Jon is recognized for his originality, jaw-dropping talent and dapper sense of style. He is the Bandleader and Musical Director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and is known for curating unique “social music” experiences all over the world, whether solo or with his band Stay Human. Jon is also a Verve Records recording artist where he has released his debut solo album, Hollywood Africans, co-produced by T Bone Burnett. Strongly committed to philanthropy, education and mentoring of young musicians, Jon has led his own Social Music Residency and Mentoring Program sponsored by Chase, as well as hundreds of master classes throughout the world. Jon is currently the Co-Artistic Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and Music Director for The Atlantic. His accolades include the American Jazz Museum Lifetime Achievement Award, the Harry Chapin ASCAP Humanitarian Award, honorary doctorates and the Forbes “30 under 30” list. Jon has received both his undergraduate and masters degrees in piano from the Juilliard School. His personal style has been profiled in Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair by photographers such as Annie Leibovitz. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.


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