Las Vegas. Jon Batiste, a 35-year-old jazz player with musical heritage, was consecrated with five Grammy Awards on Sunday in Las Vegas, at a gala where the artist overflowed with charisma.
“I love music. I’ve been playing since I was a kid. Music is more than entertainment for me, it’s a spiritual practice,” said the composer upon receiving the Grammy’s top honor, Album of the Year for We Are.
“I love them, even if I don’t know them”, he closed with his explosive laugh and in the middle of a standing ovation the great winner of the night, during whose performance a Ukrainian flag was displayed at the back of the stage.
We Are was written and recorded almost entirely before the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests that shook the world, but its lyrics address issues such as social injustice and racism.
Hailing from a dynasty of New Orleans musicians, Batiste built a career in the industry on his talent and artistic vision.
A regular figure on red carpets, the musician already has an Oscar to his name, which he won thanks to the soundtrack of Pixar’s film Soul. For that work he was also recognized with a Golden Globe, a Critics’ Choice Movie Award and a Bafta.
Batiste has recorded with legendary artists like Stevie Wonder, Prince and Willie Nelson. To many, however, he is best known for being the music director and bandleader for Stephen Colbert’s late-night variety show.
He is also the creative director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
The versatile musician competed this year in various categories against established stars such as Justin Bieber, and against new phenomena such as Olivia Rodrigo, who won best new artist.