Jon Batiste Kicks Off the NBA Season With Powerful Twist on the National Anthem

Jon Batiste
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

Jon Batiste attends the Coach 1941 fashion show during February 2020 - New York Fashion Week on Feb. 11, 2020 in New York City.

Jon Batiste kicked off the NBA season on Thursday evening (July 30) with a new, more inclusive version of the national anthem that encourages a more representative, racially just theme for the country.

The Grammy-nominated musician infused the traditional "Star-Spangled Banner" with Lift Every Voice and Sing," one of the most significant songs of the civil rights movement often referred to as the Black national anthem.

The new take on the national anthem was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, with all Black musicians and creatives for the performance including Kassa Overall on the drums, Malcolm Parson on the cello, Jauvon Gilliam on the timpani, producers Law Parker and Sunny Levine, and director Jac Benson II.

Watch it below.


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