Home » Artists » Hollywood Africans

Jon Batiste: Bio

With HOLLYWOOD AFRICANS, Batiste dives deep into his own personal and cultural heritage, weaving an intimate and emotional tapestry out of original material and American standards that carries the listener from the early jazz of New Orleans to the present day. Guiding the acclaimed singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and leader of the group Stay Human-since 2015 the house band of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert-was legendary producer T Bone Burnett, whose numerous accolades include Album of the Year Grammys for the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack and Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

"The goal was just to collaborate on something that felt authentic to both of us," says Batiste. "What we came up with was an intimate, stripped-down portrait of who I am, and the lineage of musicians and performers who are really vital to my work and to his. On this record, I want us to bop, dance, laugh and cry to the sound of the music while we remember our black heroes and wield the superpowers they left us with. Because of them, I don't have to wear a mask. I get to be who I am."

1 Kenner Boogie
2 What A Wonderful World
3 Chopinesque
4 Saint James Infirmary
5 Nocturne No.1 in D Minor
6 The Very Thought of You
7 Green Hill Zone
8 Mr. Buddy
9 Is it Over
10 Smile
11 Don't Stop

Jon Batiste is an internationally acclaimed musician, bandleader and composer. As an educator and television personality, he spreads his unbridled optimism coupled with a profound understanding of the arts. Born into a long lineage of New Orleans musicians, Batiste is a graduate of The Juilliard School with a master's degree. After graduating, he toured globally with his band Stay Human and currently appears nightly on national television as the bandleader and musical director for "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Jon is a Forbes 30 under 30 honoree, Musical Director for The Atlantic and Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. He balances a demanding performance schedule with speaking engagements, curating events, occasional acting and producing opportunities, all while relentlessly composing new music. Jon is also a coveted brand ambassador–featured in campaigns for Chase, Apple, Lincoln Motor Company, and numerous fashion brands including Bonobos, Ralph Lauren, Barney's and Nordstrom. He has worked with famed photographer Annie Leibowitz, among many others, and his personal style has been profiled in various fashion publications including GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Jon's mission is to share his faith, hope and love with the world around him.

Crossover Media Projects with: Jon Batiste