WHEN MICHAEL Jackson performed his heavy-rock classic ‘Beat It’ in concert, the woman playing guitar for that incendiary solo was Jennifer Batten.
Jennifer Batten, one of the world’s finest and most respected hard rock and electric guitar players, is coming to Campbell’s Tavern, Cloughanover, Headford, on Friday February 12 at 9pm.
The New Yorker began playing in various bands in the 1980s but got her big break when she was selected from more than 100 other axe wielders to join Jackson’s band for his Bad concert tour in 1988.
The tour gave Jennifer the confidence to record and release her debut album Above, Below, and Beyond in 1992, which was produced by Stevie Wonder guitarist Michael Sembello. Shortly after the record’s release she was asked to rejoin Michael Jackson for his upcoming Dangerous Tour and again in 1997 for the late singer’s HIStory concerts.
In between guitar duties for Jackson, she completed her second solo album Jennifer Batten’s Tribal Rage~Momentum which mixed heavy rock, African percussion, Australian didgeridoo, Caribbean steel drums, and Scottish bagpipes.
In 1998 Jeff Beck asked Jennifer to join his band. She appears on and co-wrote some of the tracks on Beck’s Who Else and You Had It Coming albums. Since then Jennifer has authored two music books and in 2008 released her solo CD/DVD Whatever, which incorporates electronica, vocal samples, and film.
She has worked with a designer to create a brand of guitar string dampers called the Batten String Damper and Washburn Guitars has created for her the Washburn JB-100 Jennifer Batten Signature Series.