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Jon Batiste on the highs and lows captured in 'American Symphony'

Jon Batiste performs at Carnegie Hall in the documentary American Symphony
Jon Batiste performs at Carnegie Hall in the documentary American Symphony

New Orleans native Jon Batiste has been described as a sort of one-man parade. 

The singer-songwriter has won five Grammy awards and received 20 nominations over his career in genres ranging from R&B  to Classical. He’s collaborated across genres, too, with artists like Willie Nelson, Lil Wayne, and Lana Del Rey. 

But at the height of his career, and despite the upbeat exterior, he experienced personal struggle behind the scenes. Just as he received his 11thGrammy nomination in 2021, and was preparing a symphony performance at Carnegie Hall, his wife,best-selling writerSuleikaJaouad, began treatment for leukemia that had returned after a decade in remission. 

The extreme highs and lows of their lives are captured in a new documentary called“American Symphony.” It was released on Netflix last month. 

Now, his “World Music Radio” is up for Album of the Year. And “Butterfly,” a lullaby he composed for Suleika, has been nominated for Song of the Year at theGrammy Awards in February.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Anna Casey
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