As the most-nominated artist at the 64th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night (April 3), Jon Batiste commanded a fair share of attention at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas — and delivered with a dazzling, dance-friendly performance of his record of the year-nominated single, “Freedom.”
Batiste began his performance seated at a grand piano, demonstrating his prowess behind the ivories before rising and greeting a full band and choir in an eye-popping, pastel-colored stage setup. “Freedom” was presented as a joyful romp, with Batiste contorting his limbs with glee around the colorful shapes onstage, then pausing to gaze in wonder at another grand piano on a raised platform.
He succinctly merged the two halves of the performance, calling for the audience to stand up and groove as dancers flanked him on each side. The performance ended with Batiste in the audience, standing up triumphantly in front of Billie Eilish’s table and earning one of the biggest rounds of applause of the evening.
With 11 nominations entering the ceremony, Batiste — who is also the band leader on CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert — will carry home at least four trophies: best music video for “Freedom,” best American roots performance and best American roots song for “Cry,” and best score soundtrack for visual media for his Oscar-winning work on Soul alongside Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails. “Freedom” could still win record of the year, while Batiste’s We Are is up for album of the year.
The Grammys were hosted by Trevor Noah.