jon batiste on austin city limits

In his first appearance on the 'Austin City Limits' stage, New Orleans performer Jon Batiste's hour-long show is being called joyful, inspiring, energizing and spiritual.

New Orleans bandleader, composer and Oscar and Emmy-winning musician Jon Batiste is making his "Austin City Limits" debut.

Recorded in front of a limited live audience, the 60-minute show, part of  "ACL's" 47th season, will air at 11 p.m. Saturday on WLPB, Channel 27 (cable Channel 12) in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, and at 10:30 p.m. on WYES, Channel 11 (cable Channel 12) in New Orleans.

“This is not a concert for me — this is a spiritual practice,” Batiste says during the performance PBS is calling "an hourlong celebration of pure joy."

"In a love letter to his Southern roots and heritage, Batiste takes viewers on a journey through Black American music history from ragtime to trap," according to an "ACL" news release.

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In a red leather suit and Stetson and backed by a 10-piece band, Batiste commands the stage, dazzling the audience with "We Are," "I Need You," "Love Riot Moment," "Boyhood," "Whatchutalkinbout," "Tell the Truth" (and its reprise), "Piano Medley," "Cry," "Freedom" and "Don't Stop."

Joining the party with Batiste, bandleader and musical director for CBS' “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” are New Orleans’ Hot 8 Brass Band with a second-line groove, and Austin guitar great Gary Clark Jr. on the slowburn bayou lament “Cry.” 

From dancing across the stage, to hopping from piano to guitar, saxophone and melodica, Batiste dazzles.

“In my over 40 years with 'Austin City Limits,' I have never seen a performance so joyful, so inspiring, so energizing, so spiritual as Jon Batiste. It was a magical night,” said executive producer Terry Lickona. “People were laughing, singing, crying, and of course dancing. Jon Batiste is a superstar!”

"Austin City Limits" is the longest-running music television show in history. Full episodes are made available to stream online at pbs.org/austincitylimits immediately following the initial broadcast.


Email Judy Bergeron at jbergeron@theadvocate.com.