By Ukee Washington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Another one of the biggest names at the Grammys Sunday night has gone from the Louisiana bayou to the Julliard School of Music to becoming Sunday’s most-nominated artist. Jon Batiste took home the top prize for “Album of the Year.”

CBS3’s Ukee Washington spoke with the man behind the music.

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Freedom by Jon Batiste was nominated for Record of the Year, Best Music Video of the Year, and it’s one of the cuts from his nominated Album of the Year entitled “We Are.”

“‘We Are’ is an incredible collection of songs I put together with over 200 musicians. We have the great Quincy Jones, my grandfather worked on it with me, my father worked on it with me, so many great musicians, but it’s really a celebration of life. You put this record on and I dare you to listen to it just one time,” Batiste said.

The 35-year-old multi-talented musician is the bandleader for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. He comes from humble and musical beginnings. The Louisiana native has music in his blood, born a member of the New Orleans musical dynasty, simply known as the Batiste family. A long legendary line of incredible family talent.

Ukee: What is it about the power of music that moves your soul?

Jon: Oh my goodness, great question! It’s something that’s truly a universal language. You can not go anywhere in the world to find cutlture, a community, family that doesn’t have music that’s part of the soundtrack of their life. 

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Ukee: Jon, were you born to do this?

Jon: I believe that we’re all born to do something and I believe that music is one of my callings.

Another is activism. Sharing his music and his beliefs when he can in peaceful protest.

“I love to connect my work to the past, blend it with things of the present to create the future. That’s the gift of music,” Batiste said.

Jon Batiste is a gift to the industry and to mankind as well, and after 11 Grammy nominations and hearing what this man is all about in the studio and out. It sounds like the best is yet to come

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Batiste received 11 nominations and five Grammy wins on Sunday, including Album of the Year. A little Grammy trivia: Micheal Jackson in 1983 and Baby Face in 1996 are the all-time single-year leaders in nominations with 12 nods apiece.

Ukee Washington