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New Orleans pride runs deep as Jon Batiste racks up 5 Grammy awards

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - From St. Augustine High, to the Marigny, to Esplanade Avenue, last night’s Grammy awards touched many New Orleanians.

Students who worked on Jon Batiste’s “Freedom” video say they couldn’t be prouder, for a variety of reasons.

“He was focused as a student in the books, but especially with music,” said Batiste’s former teacher Tyrone Payne.

It is a long way from St. Bernard Avenue to the glitz and glam of Las Vegas and the Grammy Awards, but it’s a route that Batiste navigated well.

More: Jon Batiste takes ‘Album of the Year’ at the 2022 Grammys, wins on 5 of his 11 nominations

Jon Batiste, winner of the awards for best American roots performance for "Cry," best American...
Jon Batiste, winner of the awards for best American roots performance for "Cry," best American roots song for "Cry," best music video for "Freedom," best score soundtrack for visual media for "Soul," and album of the year for "We Are," poses in the press room at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)(John Locher | John Locher/Invision/AP)

Batiste, who studied at St. Aug and NOCCA and comes from an extended New Orleans musical family, took home five Grammy Awards, more than anyone else Sunday night.

The St. Augustine high school band and the Marigny are featured prominently in the Grammy award-winning video for “Freedom.”

While the students were thrilled to be a part of a Grammy-winning performance, the legacy of that performance means far more.

“It adds to the list of all the history that comes with the school. Every time he gets nominated it’s something to be proud of,” said St. Aug band member Jaedon Simmons.

Jon Batiste accepts the award for album of the year for "We Are" at the 64th Annual Grammy...
Jon Batiste accepts the award for album of the year for "We Are" at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas.(Source: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

“For me, I won a Grammy as well and I was officially nominated and it’s a great award for me and the studio,” said studio owner, and producer Misha Kachkachishvili.

Batiste’s uncle David says the family musical tradition, with deep roots in New Orleans schools, dated back to Jon’s grandfather, a contractor who went out on a limb and bought a used piano which the whole family learned to play. David says that legacy came to full fruition at this year’s Grammy Awards.

“He believes in what he’s doing... according to the music, to him, it’s a faith,” David says.

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