There isn’t really another way to describe Jon Batiste than to say: firstly he’s an absolute powerhouse of passion for brightening peoples’ lives, and secondly, his method for smashing that goal is via his gobsmacking skills in all things funk/soul/jazz.
He’s recorded with multiple celebrated musicians (Stevie Wonder, Prince, Mavis Staples, Lenny Kravtiz, Ed Sheeran), been bandleader and Musical Director for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert for six years, received the American Jazz Museum Lifetime Achievement Award, been nominated for multiple Grammys (one in 2018 and two in 2020), recently received both a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award for co-composing the Soul soundtrack with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (and if you think Soul‘s cartoon protagonist Joe Gardner looks familiar, you’re right – Pixar used Batiste’s likeness for the lead character), was just nominated for an Oscar (Best Original Score) for the same work, and has been an incredibly active participant in Juneteenth and Black Lives Matter events.
Now comes his eighth studio album, We Are, which is a spirited celebration of Black Music and his Southern roots which features a massive cast of guests and collaborators such as Quincy Jones, Zadie Smith, Mavis Staples, his father Michael Batiste, his grandfather David Gauthier, POMO (Anderson.Paak), Ricky Reed (Lizzo), Jahaan Sweet (Drake, Eminem), and a ton more.
Check out the rambunctious and captivating lead single I Need You below, and head into JB to pick up Jon’s incredible album We Are.
We Are by Jon Batiste is out March 19 via Verve.
Keep up with the latest Australian release dates for music.