64 Parishes

Batiste Brothers Band

The Batiste Brothers Band is a funk and blues family band that formed in Metairie in 1974.

Batiste Brothers Band

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation Archive

Batiste Brothers Band performs at the 1993 Kobe Jazz Festival in Kobe, Japan.

The Batiste Brothers Band is a funk and blues family band that formed in Metairie in 1974. Its original members included Paul (guitar, flute, songwriter), Michael (bass, lead vocals), Peter (keyboard, vocals), Russell (percussion), and David Batiste (keyboard). Along with the Marsalis and the Neville families, the Batistes rank among Louisiana’s most influential musical families.

The band started as David Batiste and the Gladiators but became the Batiste Brothers Band when David left to join the Meters. The next generation of Batistes continues the musical tradition, including David’s sons, Damon (congas) and Russell (drums), who also later joined the Meters. Michael’s son Jonathan (keyboard) is now a world-famous musician who spent more than seven years as the band leader of the house band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and won five Grammys at the 64th Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for We Are (2021). The Batiste Brothers Band recorded many singles, including “Starlite” (1978), “Hooked On You” (1979), and “Dancin’ Shoes” (1980). The group has also recorded with Allen Toussaint and Isaac Hayes, toured with Jackie Wilson and David Ruffin, and opened for Wilson Pickett, Mandrill, Larry Graham, and Al Green. In the Crescent City the band remains a popular act, although they are less well known outside the region.

The Batiste Brothers Band has sponsored several art schools in New Orleans, including the Batiste Cultural Academy at Xavier University, the Paul A. Batiste Conservatory of the Arts, and various arts endeavors organized by the New Orleans South African Connection. In August 2013 Paul Batiste sued several rappers for copyright infringement, including T-Pain, Rick Ross, and DJ Khaled, as well as many major hip-hop labels and publishing companies, including Cash Money, Fueled By Ramen, RCA Records, Universal, Sony/ATV, Def Jam, Zomba, WB Music, and EMI Blackwood. Songs involved in the lawsuit included “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled and T-Pain’s “Booty Wurk.” The lawsuit was unsuccessful.