Jon Batiste has won 5 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, across 5 different categories at this year’s ceremony, becoming the night’s biggest prize-winner. His electrifying performance of “FREEDOM” capped off an incredible night for the talented singer, pianist and composer where he took home wins for Album of the Year, Best American Roots Performance, Best American Roots Song, Best Music Video, and Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.
Birthed during the first wave of the global pandemic and volatile social unrest, Batiste’s latest studio album, WE ARE, represents a body of work characterized by consciousness, rooted in catharsis, and grounded in optimism. The captivating album is a true love letter to Batiste’s southern roots and the heritage of Black music.
One of the most prolific and versatile musicians of any generation, Jon Batiste has spent his career bringing music back to where it started — with the people. Jon was born in New Orleans into the legendary Batiste family, and later studied at the world-renowned Juilliard School in New York City. There, he established the Stay Human band which became famous for their musical virtuosity and their signature street performances called “love riots.” Batiste’s skills as a pianist, composer and bandleader quickly made him one of the country’s most sought-out collaborators and performers, with appearances that include the GRAMMYs, Kennedy Center Honors, the US Open and the NBA All-Star Game.
In 2015, Jon was named bandleader and musical director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS. In 2018, he received a GRAMMY nomination for Best American Roots Performance and in 2020, he received two GRAMMY nods for albums he self-produced: Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard and Meditations (with Cory Wong). In 2020, Jon won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for the Disney/Pixar film Soul, an honor he shared with fellow composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Jon’s work on Soul also earned him a Golden Globe, BAFTA, NAACP Image Award and a Critic’s Choice Award. Jon was the second black composer in history, after legendary jazz musician Herbie Hancock, to win an Academy Award for composition.
Jon’s latest studio album, WE ARE, was released on Verve Records in March 2021 to overwhelming critical acclaim. The versatility of the album which was envisioned by Batiste as he processed the tumultuous times of 2020, earned him praise by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Billboard and more. The deluxe edition of the album, with six additional tracks, was released in October 2021. Batiste’s virtuoso composing skills will soon be showcased in his large-scale, genre-melding symphonic work “American Symphony,” set to premiere at Carnegie Hall in May 2022.