Jon Batiste

    • Jazz
    • New Orleans Jazz
    • Piano
    • Seen Live
    • Soul
    • Stephen Colbert

    Jon Batiste (born November 11, 1986) is an American musician, bandleader and TV personality. He has recorded and performed with artists in various genres of…

    Full Bio

    Jon Batiste (born November 11, 1986) is an American musician, bandleader and TV personality. He has recorded and performed with artists in various genres of music (Stevie Wonder, Prince, Willie Nelson, Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran, and Mavis Staples), released recordings consistently since 2005 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. Batiste also serves as the Music Director of The Atlantic and the Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

    Jon Batiste was born in Kenner, Louisiana, into a long line of musicians, including Lionel Batiste and Harold Battiste. At the age of 8, he played percussion and drums with his family’s band, the Batiste Brothers Band. At his mother’s suggestion, he switched to piano at the age of 11. Jon 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 Times in New Orleans. He attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts with Trombone Shorty and graduated in 2004 before going on to receive a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, he released his second album Live in New York: At the Rubin Museum of Art, and by the end of 2006, had been a featured performer in South Africa, London, Lisbon, Spain, Paris and the United States.

    In 2007, Batiste made his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam at the age of 20, both producing and performing his own show. He conducted music clinics, classes and workshops throughout Netherlands in inner city schools and underprivileged neighborhoods. He was invited back to Carnegie Hall to produce and perform in his own show including six young musicians from the Netherlands. The performance concluded with a finale he composed for choir, jazz combo and orchestral instruments. In the year following, 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. Batise’s debut solo album Hollywood Africans was released under Verve Records in September 2018. “Don’t Stop” served as the lead single. Leading up to the album release, Batiste 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 in tribute to Carmen De Lavallade, the Concert for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama as well as 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 is currently signed with Mick Management.

    Stay Human.
    In 2005, Batiste began performing regularly around the New York music scene 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.”

    In 2011, Stay Human released the album MY N.Y., which was recorded in its entirety on New York City Subway trains, an idea that came to Batiste after questioning how to connect with people.

    On April 22, 2017, the band played for the March for Science rally at the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.

    Television and film:
    In 2014, Batiste and Stay Human appeared on The Colbert Report to perform the group’s single, “Express Yourself”, written and produced with Austin Bis. On June 4, 2015, it was announced that the group 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.

    Batiste was cast in the HBO television series Treme, appearing 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 film Thrive by Paul Szynol.

    Batiste was included in the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 music list and was named Grand Marshal of Endymion Parade in New Orleans in 2018. 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.

    Batiste has been featured in campaigns for Chase Bank, Apple Watch, Lincoln Continental, and numerous fashion brands including Ralph Lauren, Barneys, Nordstrom, Frye Boots and Bonobos.

    Times in New Orleans (2005)
    Live in New York: At the Rubin Museum of Art (2006)
    In the Night (2008)
    The Amazing Jon Batiste! (2009)
    MY N.Y. EP (2011) with Stay Human
    Social Music (2013) with Stay Human
    The Process (2014) with Chad Smith and Bill Laswell
    The Late Show EP (2016) with Stay Human
    Christmas with Jon Batiste (2016)
    Music of Johny Lewis (2017) with Wynton Marsalis
    Hollywood Africans (2018) Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.