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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Multi-GRAMMY and Academy Award Winner Jon Batiste Releases New Song From Upcoming Documentary

By Stevie Connor.

Multi-GRAMMY and Academy Award Winner Jon Batiste has released “It Never Went Away” from the forthcoming documentary American Symphony. The film follows a year in the lives of Batiste and his partner, author-artist Suleika Jaoaud, as Batiste composes a major symphonic work while Jaouad undergoes treatment for cancer.

It Never Went Away,” written by Batiste and GRAMMY winner Dan Wilson, is an expression of the enduring love on display in the film, which debuts in select UK and US cinemas from November 24. The film will be available for streaming globally via Netflix on Wednesday, November 29.

Says Batiste: ‘“It Never Went Away” details a love that outlasts any condition of the physical world. It probes the question of our mortality, while at the same time speaking to the enduring quality of our deepest callings and desires. That part of us that stands in protest to the ills of the physical world is, in fact, evidence of our perpetual nature.”

Directed and produced by Academy Award® nominee and multiple Emmy Award® winner Matthew Heineman, American Symphony is produced by Higher Ground (President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company), Mercury Studios, and Our Time Projects.

Alice Webb, CEO and Co-President of Mercury Studios, commented: “From the first moment we started to work on this beautiful film we knew it was something special. Jon, Suleika and Matt are a powerful creative combination as is their story. Mercury Studios is proud to bring this film to the world, with our partners Netflix and Higher Ground. This is a movie steeped in love, commitment, and the highest creative ideals – and we couldn’t be more honoured to be a part of American Symphony.”

American Symphony premiered to critical acclaim at the 2023 Telluride Film Festival. The trailer features Batiste’s GRAMMY-nominated track “Butterfly” which is up for Song of the Year at the 2024 Awards.

Batiste was recently nominated for five GRAMMY Awards for his latest studio album, World Music Radio. Batiste also opened this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade New York by performing his track “Worship,” which is nominated for Record of the Year.

World Music Radio draws inspiration from his mission to create community with the power of music. The album received widespread critical acclaim for its universal message and genre-defying sound.

In support of the album, Batiste is gearing up to kick off his Uneasy Tour: Purifying The Airwaves For The People. Visiting intimate theatres across North America and Canada, his first-ever headlining tour will kick off February 16 at the Schnitzer in Portland, OR and include stops at The Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA; The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA; The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN; Massey Hall in Toronto, ON; The Beacon Theatre in New York, NY; and ACL Live in Austin, TX.

Early in 2022, multi-instrumentalist Jon Batiste finds himself the most celebrated artist of the year with eleven Grammy nominations including Album of the Year. In the midst of that triumph, Jon is immersed in his most ambitious challenge yet: composing “American Symphony”, an original symphony that thrillingly reimagines the classical traditions of the form, bringing together an expansive and inclusive diaspora of music for a performance at storied Carnegie Hall.

This extraordinary trajectory is upended, however, when Batiste’s life partner – best-selling author Suleika Jaouad – learns that her long dormant cancer has returned. In the moving and deeply intimate American Symphony, Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, The First Wave, Retrograde) delivers a portrait of two inimitable artists at a crossroad and a profound meditation on art, love, and the creative process.


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