Jon Batiste Takes His Turn as the Musical Guest On 'Colbert': Watch

Jon Batiste
Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Jon Batiste on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Sept. 26, 2018.

While Jon Batiste is an essential part of Stephen Colbert's in-house band, he proved he can also shine as a solo artist.

The Stay Human bandleader played “Don’t Stop” off his debut album Hollywood Africans on The Late Show Wednesday night (Sept. 26). His album shares a name with a 1983 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, whom he's also composing a Broadway musical about.

Batiste began his song by playing eerie chords on a piano painted against a dark background. The camera then zoomed out to reveal a cellist, and soon the rest of the stringed orchestra joined him.

Batiste produced "Don't Stop" alongside T Bone Burnett with the lights out for three days in a church-turned-studio in New Orleans. While this setting explains the spooky sound, it also allowed him to be vulnerable.

“These days, stuff is very, very tough to deal with. I want people to have a meditation that doesn't result in despair but hope,” he told Colbert.

Batiste followed his performance of “Don’t Stop” with a dreamy, piano-driven rendition of “What A Wonderful World” that was uploaded to the show's YouTube channel. Similarly to the first song, the room was initially dark, illuminated by a single blue spotlight. As the song progressed, his voice grew stronger and the atmosphere took on a fiery glow.

Hollywood Africans will be available everywhere this Friday (Sept. 28). Check out Batiste's stint as a musical guest on Colbert below.


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