This event is sold out. Turned back tickets will be made available at 11am daily and 45 minutes before the event at the box office. Please call 609-258-2800 for more information.

Suleika Jaouad, Writer
Jon Batiste, Musician

The Beat Goes On: Healing from Cancer through Music
Deborah Amos, Moderator

Princeton University Concerts Debut


Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 7:30 PM EST


Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall


General: $40 | Student: $10 | Princeton University Student: Free through Passport to the Arts.
Limited availability. Please call 609-258-2800 for more information.


Purchase this event at a discount as part of a curated subscription or make-your-own series package.


Suleika Jaouad is changing the conversation about what it means to thrive in the wake of illness and life’s unexpected interruptions.”


Concert Classics Plus Series

About the Event

Suleika and Jon invite everyone to share their stories of music’s restorative role in their own lives. Share Your Story>

Oncology wards, more than anywhere else I know, are music-less places,” wrote Suleika Jaouad as part of Life, Interrupted, the Emmy award-winning New York Times column and video series she wrote while hospitalized for leukemia shortly after graduating from Princeton University in 2010. Jon Batiste changed that by bringing his band to visit her oncology ward, “its inhabitants rejoicing in a temporary timeout, losing themselves to the beauty and healing power of music.” Now married, the New York Times bestselling author and multiple Grammy Award-winning musician together launch a new season of our “Healing with Music” series with a conversation, moderated by journalist Deborah Amos, permeated by live performance of works meaningful to Suleika’s recovery, about music’s role through illness and how they have managed to convert isolation into art. The event will explore both silence — the moments when the impulse is not to create but to hide — and the beauty that can be mined from those music-less places. Join us in celebrating music’s sustaining magic with a couple that has inspired hundreds of thousands of people through their commitment to the healing power of art.


Suleika Jaouad and Jon Batiste want to hear from you! Please submit your questions related to the topic of healing with music/the arts using the form below. Select questions will be posed to Jon and Suleika live at the event:


In honor of Suleika Jaouad, become a potential lifesaver to patients battling blood cancers or other blood diseases who need a blood stem cell donor by participating in a Be the Match blood stem cell donor registry drive on campus. It could take one cheek swab to save a life!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023
8AM-3PM: Frist Campus Center, 100 Level; 7-10PM: Alexander Beach, just behind the concert hall (part of a Food Truck Fest sponsored by ODUS!)

Must be between the ages of 18-40 and able to meet certain medical guidelines to participate.  Can’t join the drive? Click here to join the bone marrow registry online by sending in your own cheek swab.


Humans have been using sounds as a way to exist and endure since the start of time. As we return to the concert hall after the trauma of a pandemic, we will be guided by artists whose stories of resilience in facing illness and personal upheaval shed light on music’s profound impact in events combining conversation and live performance. You can share your own story of music’s restorative role in your life here.

In partnership with the Office of Community and Regional Affairs, Princeton University Concerts is extending the impact of this Healing with Music event with a Be the Match blood stem cell donor registry drive on campus on Wednesday, November 15. The drive will run 8AM-3PM in front of Frist Campus Center and also near Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall from 7PM, a half hour before the Healing with Music event begins, until 10PM.

Read More About Event


  • A conversation with live music

    Deborah Amos, Moderator
    Exploring music’s role through living with cancer.

Discover More Like This