|Birth name||Jonathan Michael Batiste|
|Born||November 11, 1986|
Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.
|Instrument(s)||Vocals, piano, keyboards, melodica|
Jonathan Michael Batiste (born November 11, 1986) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, bandleader, and television personality. He has recorded and performed with artists in various genres of music (Stevie Wonder, Prince, Willie Nelson, Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran, Roy Hargrove, and Mavis Staples), released his own recordings, and performed in more than 40 countries. Batiste regularly tours with his band Stay Human, and appears with them nightly as bandleader and musical director on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert since 2015.
Batiste also serves as the music director of The Atlantic and the Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. In 2020, he co-composed the score for the Pixar animated film Soul, for which he received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Grammy Award and a BAFTA Film Award (all shared with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). As of 2022, Batiste has garnered five Grammy Awards from 11 nominations, including an Album of the Year win for his album We Are.
Early life and education
Jon Batiste was born in Metairie, Louisiana, in a Catholic family. He grew up in Kenner, Louisiana. Batiste is a member of a New Orleans musical dynasty, the Batiste family, that includes Lionel Batiste of the Treme Brass Band, Milton Batiste of the Olympia Brass Band, and Russell Batiste Jr. At the age of 8, he played percussion and drums with his family's band, the Batiste Brothers Band. At the age of 11, he switched to piano at his mother's suggestion. Batiste developed his piano skills by taking classical music lessons and transcribing songs from video games such as Street Fighter Alpha, Final Fantasy VII and Sonic the Hedgehog.
At 17, Batiste released his debut album Times in New Orleans. He attended St. Augustine High School and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts with Trombone Shorty in New Orleans and graduated in 2004. He then went on to attend the Juilliard School, receiving a Bachelor of Music in 2008 and a Master of Music in 2011, both in jazz studies. While at Juilliard, he released his second album, Live in New York: At the Rubin Museum of Art. By the end of 2006, Batiste had been a featured performer in South Africa, London, Lisbon, Spain, Paris and the United States.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2021)
In 2007, Batiste made his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam at the age of 20, producing and performing his own show. He conducted music clinics, classes and workshops throughout the Netherlands in inner-city schools and underprivileged neighborhoods. He was invited to Carnegie Hall to produce and perform in his own show with six young musicians from the Netherlands. The performance concluded with a finale he composed for choir, jazz combo and orchestral instruments. In the following years, Batiste released a number of music projects including Social Music (2013), which spent over a month at the top of the Billboard and iTunes jazz charts; The Late Show EP (2016) with Stay Human; and a holiday album Christmas with Jon Batiste (2016). In 2017, he released the singles "Ohio" with Leon Bridges and Gary Clark Jr. as well as "Battle Hymn of the Republic" for The Atlantic. Batiste's cover of "St. James Infirmary Blues" was nominated for a Grammy in 2019, in the category of Best American Roots Performance. Batiste's debut solo album Hollywood Africans was released by Verve Records in September 2018. "Don't Stop" served as the lead single. Leading up to the album release, he completed a Summer Festival tour across the U.S. with The Dap-Kings.
Batiste's notable career performances include a tribute to Chuck Berry and Fats Domino during the 60th annual Grammy Awards (performing alongside Gary Clark Jr.); the Kennedy Center Honors' tribute to Carmen De Lavallade; the Concert for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama; the National Anthem at the 2017 NBA All Star Game; and Opening Night of the 2017 US Open. He has curated the Global Citizen Advocacy Concert with Tom Morello and the Louis Armstrong Wonderful World Festival in Queens, N.Y.
Batiste was cast in the HBO television series Treme, appearing as himself in seasons 2, 3 and 4. He was also cast as T.K. Hazelton in director Spike Lee's film Red Hook Summer and composed and performed the Hammond B-3 organ music that was a part of the film score. Other film scores composed by Batiste include the television documentary Duke 91 & 92: Back to Back and the short film Melody of Choice. He also appears in the films Da Sweet Blood of Jesus by Spike Lee and Thrive by Paul Szynol.
In 2005, Batiste began performing regularly in New York with his Juilliard peers, bassist Phil Kuehn and drummer Joe Saylor. He later added Eddie Barbash on alto saxophone and Ibanda Ruhumbika on tuba. Batiste named the band Stay Human, which draws its moniker from the belief that human interaction during a live musical performance can uplift humanity in the midst of the "plug in, tune out" nature of modern society. The band leads impromptu street performances, which Batiste calls "love riots". Notable artists were often seen accompanying Batiste, including Wynton Marsalis.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
On June 4, 2015, it was announced that Jon Batiste and Stay Human would serve as house band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The show premiered on CBS on September 8, 2015. On the show, Batiste and Stay Human have performed alongside Billy Joel, Will Smith, Wynton Marsalis, John Legend, Grace VanderWaal, and Nas.
In June 2020, Batiste took part in the Juneteenth celebration in Brooklyn, New York with a day of protests, marches, rallies, and vigils to "celebrate, show solidarity, and fight for equal rights and treatment of Black people". Performing on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library, Batiste was joined by Matt Whitaker in a performance presented in partnership with Sing For Hope.
The 2020 Juneteenth took place during the protests following the murder of George Floyd, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, seen by some as connected to an increase in an awareness of racial injustice. When questioned as to the differences he sees in the present movement for change, and its connection to music, Batiste responded by saying: "...music has always been something that has had all of the different purposes of our life and our community and our healing and our unspoken pain – and the transmission of messages and the raising awareness of a condition of a people. [...] What's different now is that it's much more widespread in the support of changing the systemic oppression that's been going on for 400 years." He believes, "Now, it's more important than ever for us to be reintroduced to what our ancestors used music for, because it's been forgotten. [...] The world at large sees music as entertainment. It's never been that, at its root. It is that in one element of it, but the entire spectrum of music is far, far deeper and wide-ranging."
Soul and We Are
Batiste composed music for the 2020 film Soul, collaborating with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The trio went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Score and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score among many other wins and nominations.
On March 19, 2021, Batiste released We Are, his fifth solo studio album. Speaking to Atwood Magazine, he described it as "a culmination of my life to this point" and "the most representative of where I'm at as a creative, and as an artist".
Influences and music style
Batiste cites among the artists who have most influenced his artistic and musical choices Mahalia Jackson, James Brown, Louis Armstrong, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Miles Davis and Django Reinhardt. Interviewed by Forbes, Batiste explained the significance of jazz music:
Music is a real form of connection to a higher power at its greatest; music was a form of community that brought people together and gave them a common purpose. Jazz is really a term that doesn't encompass what it's pointing at, [...] the intellectual breadth of black geniuses who were basically denied the credential of being a genius in society because of their skin tone. [...] We always talk about improvisation, and it really is one of the only forms of music that exemplifies the American experiment putting all these different cultures into one country and coexisting and trying to create beautiful music together.— Jon Batiste, in Jon Batiste: So Much More Than Stephen Colbert's Music Director (Forbes)
Activism and philanthropy
Batiste was born into a family active in the struggle against racial segregation in the United States; his grandfather David Gauthier was president of the Louisiana Postal Workers Union, involved in the 1968 labor strike sponsored by the Memphis, Tennessee, Department of Public Works for higher wages and safer working conditions. The protest led to the presence of Martin Luther King Jr., where he delivered his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, the day before his assassination.
The singer is a supporter of civil rights, the fight against racism, participating publicly in numerous demonstrations, including the marches promoted by the Black Lives Matter movement. Following the murder of George Floyd in June 2020, Batiste organized peaceful protests in New York City against police brutality in the United States.
Through the single "We Are", he supports the Equal Justice Initiative of attorney and activist Bryan Stevenson. Batiste is also among the sponsors of several initiatives, including Innocence Project, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and The Legacy Museum.
|Jon Batiste discography|
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Times in New Orleans||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Jazz Is Now||
(with Stay Human)
|Christmas with Jon Batiste||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
(with Chad Smith and Bill Laswell)
(with Cory Wong)
|Swing States: Harmony in the Battleground
(with Regina Carter, John Daversa, and Harvey Mason)
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Soul: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
|Jazz Selections: Music From and Inspired by Soul||
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Live in New York: At the Rubin Museum of Art||
|The Music of John Lewis
(with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis)
|Anatomy of Angels: Live at the Village Vanguard||
|Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard||
|Live at Electric Lady||
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|In the Night||
|The Amazing Jon Batiste!||
(with Stay Human)
|The Late Show EP
(with Stay Human)
|We Are: Roots & Traditions||
|A Little Bit of Soul||
|We Are the Golden Ones||
|Jon Batiste: The Nominated Collection||
As lead artist
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
(featuring Aloe Blacc)
|2016||—||—||—[C]||—||—||—||—||—||Christmas with Jon Batiste|
(with Leon Bridges and Gary Clark Jr.)
|"Battle Hymn of the Republic"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Sweet Lorraine"||2018||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Relief: A Benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America's Musicians Relief Fund|
|"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (Recorded at Spotify Studios NYC)
(featuring Danielle Brooks)
|"Creative" (live)||2019||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Anatomy Of Angels: Live at the Village Vanguard|
|"It's All Right" (from Soul) (Duet version)
|"I Need You"||—||2||—[D]||—[E]||—||—||—||—||We Are|
|"Sweet" (with Pentatonix and Diane Warren)||2022||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Diane Warren: The Cave Sessions Vol. 1|
As featured artist
|"When I Get There"
(Peter CottonTale featuring Jon Batiste, Jeremih, Jamila Woods, and Jack Red)
(Nora Germain featuring Jon Batiste)
|"Sunday Bloody Sunday"|
(Deon Jones featuring Jon Batiste)
(Yung Bae featuring EarthGang, Jon Batiste, and Sherwyn)
|2022||Groove Continental: Side A|
Awards and honors
He has been awarded the American Jazz Museum Lifetime Achievement Award, the Harry Chapin ASCAP Humanitarian Award and the Movado Future Legend Award. In May 2017, Batiste received an honorary degree from Salve Regina University for his musical achievements and contributions to Newport's 2014 International Jazz Day. In 2018, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best American Roots Performance for "Saint James Infirmary Blues". In 2020, he received two Grammy nominations: his album Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard was nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, and Meditations (with Cory Wong) was nominated for Best New Age Album.
In 2020 Batiste, along with Nine Inch Nails band members Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, composed the score for the Disney and Pixar animated film Soul. The three went on to win the Golden Globe, the Critics' Choice Award, the BAFTA Award, and the Academy Award for Best Original Score. Batiste's Oscar win made him only the second black composer to win an award in the category (after Herbie Hancock in 1987). In 2021, Batiste received 11 nominations and became the most nominated artist at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.
In 2022, Batiste won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. He was named in Time magazine's 2022 "Top 100 Most Influential People", in the Icons category. Batiste was featured on the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival's commemorative poster.
- Hollywood Africans did not enter the Billboard 200 but did peak at number 33 on the Top Album Sales chart.
- WE ARE: Roots & Traditions did not enter the Billboard Jazz Albums chart but peaked at number nine on the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.
- "Endless Love" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart but peaked at number 22 on the Adult R&B Airplay chart.
- "I Need You" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 14 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales chart.
- "I Need You" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart but peaked at number seven on the R&B Digital Song Sales chart.
- "Freedom" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number two on the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales chart.
- Stated on Finding Your Roots, January 7, 2020
- Rose, Lacey; O'Connell, Michael; Sandberg, Bryn Elise; Stanhope, Kate; Goldberg, Lesley (August 28, 2015). "Next Gen Fall TV: 10 Stars Poised for Breakouts". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- Wicks, Amanda (July 24, 2015). "Stephen Colbert's New Bandleader Could Change Late Night TV". The New York Observer.
- Pogrebin, Robin (June 17, 2012). "National Jazz Museum in Harlem Plans Expansion". The New York Times.
- Mosk, Mitch (March 19, 2021). "Interview: Jon Batiste Dives into His Inspiring, Genreless New Album 'WE ARE'". Atwood Magazine. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
- Serico, Chris (June 4, 2015). "'I like this guy': Stephen Colbert chooses Jon Batiste as 'Late Show' bandleader". Today. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
- Cohn, Gabe (February 28, 2021). "Golden Globes Winners 2021: The Complete List". The New York Times.
- Heins, Scott (June 19, 2015). "From New Orleans To NYC: Jon Batiste Talks The Late Show And Musical Identity". Gothamist. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- Brasted, Chelsea (October 4, 2016). "What do you get with 25 musical Batistes? 'A captive audience'". The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
- Ehrlich, Dimitri (November 11, 2013). "Jon Batiste". Interview Magazine. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
- Chinen, Nate (September 7, 2015). "Jon Batiste Will Lead 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Band in a Style He Sees Fit". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
- Weingarten, Christopher (August 5, 2015). "Meet Jon Batiste, Colbert's Crowd-Thrilling Bandleader". Rolling Stone.
- "Jon Batiste: Bio". Juilliard School. n.d.
- "Award-Winning Jazz Artist Batiste Performs at SU Monday, September 24". Salisbury University. September 12, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
- Todd, Nate (June 16, 2017). "5 things you didn't know about Jon Batiste". AXS.com News.
- Hodges, Bruce (November 2014). "3 Releases From Jazz Grads". The Juilliard Journal. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
- "#LoveRiot: A Classic "Had To Be There" NYC Moment". Joonbug.com. April 11, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
- "Potash Twins and Jon Batiste - Union Square". YouTube.com. August 28, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
- Blumenfeld, Larry (January 4, 2012). "Jonathan Batiste and the Stay Human Band Fill the Subway with Their Take on Jazz".
- Resnick, Brian (April 22, 2017). "The March for Science on Earth Day, explained". Vox. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Whyte, Chelsea; Grossman, Lisa (April 22, 2017). "On the ground in Washington at the March for Science". New Scientist. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- "Juneteenth in Brooklyn". Bklyner. June 19, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Robinson, David; David McKay Wilson; Nancy Cutler; Ashley Biviano; Matt Steecker (June 5, 2020). "Why George Floyd's death, COVID-19 inequality sparked protests: 'We're witnessing history'". lohud. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Fancher, Lou (June 22, 2020). "For Jon Batiste, Music Is the Way to Transformation". San Francisco Classical Voice. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- DeVille, Chris (December 3, 2020). "'SOUL,' Pixar's Metaphysical Jazz Movie With A Score By Nine Inch Nails". Stereogum.
- Cremona, Patrick (December 25, 2020). "Soul soundtrack – everything you need to know about the music for the Pixar film". Radio Times.
- Bloom, Madison (April 25, 2021). "Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste Win Best Original Score at Oscars 2021". Pitchfork.
- Burlingame, Jon (April 26, 2021). "'Soul' Wins Best Score Oscar, Making Jon Batiste the Second Black Composer to Receive Award".
- "Jon Batiste Releases New Project 'Live at Electric Lady'". July 30, 2021.
- Sisario, Ben (November 23, 2021). "Jon Batiste and Young Chart-Toppers Lead 2022 Grammy Nominations". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
- Morgan, David (April 3, 2022). "Jon Batiste, Suleika Jaouad announce they were secretly married". CBS News. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
- Beener, Angélika (June 24, 2020). ""A Very Powerful Thing Our Ancestors Gave Us": A Conversation With Jon Batiste". Tidal. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
- Goldsmith, Margie (September 9, 2019). "Jon Batiste: So Much More Than Stephen Colbert's Music Director". Forbes. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
- Gedye, Lloyd (May 26, 2021). "Jon Batiste is just getting started". New Frame. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
- Hones, Nora. "NYC Erupts in Music Led by Jon Batiste in Support of Black Lives Matter". NYS Music. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
- "Race in America: Giving Voice with Jon Batiste". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
- Hall, Kristin M. (December 10, 2020). "Kevin Bacon brings music back to venues for charity concert". WJXT. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Jazz Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Independent Albums". Billboard. January 7, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums )". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 11 April 2022". The ARIA Report. No. 1675. Australian Recording Industry Association. April 11, 2022. p. 23.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste – We Are" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste – We Are" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste – We Are" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Official Album Downloads Chart Top 100 (April 8, 2022)". Official Charts. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Top 200 Albums". Billboard. January 7, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- "Jazz Music: Top Jazz Albums". Billboard. January 7, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Top Album Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Soundtrack Chart History (Current Album Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Soundtrack Chart History (Top Soundtracks)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Official Compilations Chart Top 100 (January 8, 2021)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Official Soundtrack Albums Chart Top 50 (January 8, 2021)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "We Are: Roots & Traditions by Jon Batiste". Record Store Day. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Contemporary Jazz Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Triple A Airplay Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Hot R&B Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Rock & Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Canadian Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Mexico Ingles Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (Adult R&B Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste Chart History (R&B Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste, Pentatonix & Diane Warren Release Zesty Collab, 'Sweet (Single Edit)'". Billboard. July 22, 2022. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
- "Jon Batiste, 29". Forbes. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
- Belmore, Ryan M. (April 12, 2017). "George Wein, Jon Batiste to Receive Honorary Degrees from Salve Regina; Batiste to Give Commencement Address". What'sUpNewp. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- "Artist: Jon Batiste". www.grammy.com. Recording Academy. 2021. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
- Sisario, Ben (November 23, 2021). "Jon Batiste and Young Chart-Toppers Lead 2022 Grammy Nominations". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
- Bloom, Madison (April 3, 2022). "Jon Batiste Wins Album of the Year for We Are at 2022 Grammys". pitchfork.com.
- Spera, Keith (May 24, 2022). "Kenner native Jon Batiste named one of Time's 100 most influential people of 2022". nola.com. New Orleans, Louisiana. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
- "A Conversation with Jon Batiste". Aspen Ideas Festival. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Martel, Brett (February 18, 2008). "New Orleans tourism gets boost from NBA All-Star game". USA Today. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
- Kozinn, Allan (January 23, 2008). "Mystical to Muscular: Many Styles in Play at a Keyboard Marathon". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
- Pogrebin, Robin (March 26, 2008). "Louisiana Extols Culture in Recovery". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2008.