Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric met up with Batiste at the Blue Note, the legendary jazz club in Greenwich Village, New York, to play some tunes and chat about all that jazz.
NEW ORLEANS ROOTS
Growing up in Kenner, La., a suburb of New Orleans, Batiste was surrounded by music. Coming from a long line of musicians, Batiste first sharpened his musical chops playing the conga drums in the family band, the Batiste Brothers Band, formed by his father and uncles. At 11 years old, he switched to piano and never looked back. By the time Batiste was 17, he had already released two albums and was on his way to Juilliard to study jazz and classical.
Batiste and his band, Stay Human, have been credited with innovations to traditional jazz, blending standards with different styles and genres — be it R&B, rock, or pop, and taking their music to the streets with their so-called social music.
He describes social music as “music without any genre boundaries or borders. [It’s] about bringing people together who otherwise wouldn’t come together.” Stay Human has performed all over the world — from subway trains to ski slopes.
‘THE LATE SHOW’ WITH STEPHEN COLBERT
On September 8, Batiste will be taking up the mantle of bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, supported by his band, Stay Human. Batiste and Colbert first met in 2014 on Colbert’s Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report.
“I felt an energy,” recalled Batiste. “And then he did, too. And we kept speaking over time. And eventually it became a conversation about the show, the next show.” Colbert has said that he “can’t wait to play off [Batiste’s] energy.”
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Thanks so much for your help in getting the word out about Tuesday’s presentation with Nate Chinen and Steve Smith. We had 115 attendees, which is the most ever! We ended up moving the event to the sanctuary. They did a great job.