American musician Jon Batiste used his recent Oscar-winning acceptance speech to express his thanks to God for the gift of music.
Batiste, a devout Catholic, shared his emotional speech as he accepted the Oscar for Best Original Score on Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios’ Soul.
Batiste, who scored the music for the film together with Nine Inch Nails founder Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, also defined the moment as a “culmination of a series of miracles”.
“You know what’s deep is God gave us 12 notes. It’s the same 12 notes that Duke Ellington had, that Bach had, Nina Simone,” he said during his speech.
“I just want to first point out that every gift is special. Every contribution with music that comes from the divine into the instruments, into the film, into the minds, hearts and souls of every person who hears it, the stories that happen when you listen to it and watch it and the stories you share, the moments you make, the memories you create. Man, it’s just so incredibly special.”
An accomplished pianist and composer, Batiste comes from a large musical Catholic family in Louisiana, out in New Orleans.
Previously opening up about his Catholic faith in 2015, Batiste told New York City news, arts and events website Gothamist: “I was raised in the Catholic Church and for me the thought in the Bible and Christianity, and the spirit within that, is one of the guiding principles in my life.”
Speaking about Social Music, his album with his band Stay Human, and particularly the track Let God Lead, which includes the lyric ‘Faith hope and love, but the greatest of these is love’, Batiste also said: “Talk about purpose and it’s rooted there. For me those lyrics, for instance, when we play live and people are signing together, it’s hard not to love that person singing next to you.”
Batiste has released original recordings and performed in more than 40 countries.
He regularly tours with Stay Human and has appeared with them nightly as bandleader and musical director on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert since 2015.
Batiste also serves as the Music Director of The Atlantic and the Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
Picture: Left to right, Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross celebrate their Oscar for Best Original Score on Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios’ Soul. (Decca Records).