Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony
The Jazz tradition is about expression, freedom, improvisation, innovation, and creativity. One of the most important aspects of Jazz is that it is carried it out with character, dignity, humility, and courage. To these ideals, the Museum presents the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award to Jon Batiste, who is currently the house bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which currently claims the number one spot in late-night television. Batiste engages new demographics who may not have had the opportunity to be exposed to this amazing art form. Batiste’s significant strides in jazz at such a young age place him in historic company with other acclaimed artists, like Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald.
The American Jazz Museum has presented the Lifetime Achievement Award since 2005. The purpose of the award is to recognize artists who have made exceptional and innovative contributions to Jazz and the art of live music; created greater accessibility and appreciation for Jazz and the art of live music; and, increased the outreach of Jazz education. During the ceremony, several notable local musicians will perform to honor Batiste.
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 receive both his undergraduate and master’s degrees at The Juilliard School. Today, Batiste performs internationally with his band Jon Batiste & Stay Human and he has collaborated with acclaimed musicians across various genres, including Stevie Wonder, and Prince, among others. Batiste serves as the Artistic Director-at-Large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, educating people about the museum and assisting with programming. He is named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30,” and he is a Movado Future Legend Award recipient and one of the youngest Steinway Performing Artists of all time.