The 14-time GRAMMY Award winner, Jon Batiste is a multi-faceted artist. A composer, a pianist, singer, and former bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Batiste has garnered many accolades including an Oscar, Golden Globe, and a Critic’s Choice Award for composing the jazz music for the Pixar animated film Soul.
One of the most prolific musicians of today, he has dedicated his career to bring the music back to his people. A New Orleans native, he joined his legendary family’s band at the tender age of 8, playing the drums and percussion. In 2005, Alongside Julliard peers, he formed Stay Human and released My N.Y. which was recorded in its entirety in New York City Subway trains as a way to connect with the people of the city. Since moving to New York, Batiste has made it a point to introduce Jazz to as many people as possible. Performing on the streets gives a chance to those who wouldn’t have come across the genre to be captivated by the culture in represents.By 2015, Stay Human had become the house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, Batiste performed at protests after George Floyd was killed and even performed at a vaccination site in New York. When Batiste won for his Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor Soul collaboration, he became only the second black composer to win an Academy Award® after fellow legendary jazz musician Herbie Hancock.
We Are, which earned the coveted Album of the Year at the 64th Annual GRAMMY® Awards, reflects his love of soul, R&B, pop, jazz, gospel, and even featured his grandfather, nephews and high school marching band. The versatility of the album was inspired by the tumultuous times that was the year 2020.
On the June 17 program at the Lincoln Center, Batiste goes in deep about influences, the blessed insanity that has been his last year of his career, and if he might be an EGOT artist in the near future.