Jon Batiste - Honorees - The Gordon Parks Foundation

Jon Batiste, band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, is a musician, educator and humanitarian from Kenner, LA who has created a signature sound that is true to his roots. Born into a long line of celebrated musicians in Louisiana, Batiste grew up playing percussion in his family’s band before mastering the piano when he was 11 years old. He went on to study at The Juilliard School, where he received both his undergraduate and master’s degrees.

In addition to performing internationally with his band, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Batiste has collaborated with acclaimed musicians across various genres, including Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Lenny Kravitz, among others. Known for taking his jaw-dropping music to the streets in his signature “love riots,” his debut studio album, “Social Music,” an homage to his unique musical philosophy, reached #1 on Billboard’s Jazz Album Chart. Batiste’s new album was released in the fall of 2015. In December 2016, Batiste released his first Christmas album, "Christmas with Jon Batiste" exclusively on Amazon Prime. Also, he appeared as himself on the television series Treme and as Da Organist Tk Hazelton in Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer.

In 2012, Batiste was appointed the Artistic Director at Large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, educating people about the museum and assisting with programming. Named one of Forbes “30 Under 30”, Batiste is a Movado Future Legend Award recipient and is one of the youngest Steinway Performing Artists of all time.