Jon Batiste: Music Makes Change

July 23, 2020  • Aspen Ideas Now

Last month, Grammy-nominated musician Jon Batiste was followed by a brass band, dancers, and musicians in New York City. His effort, We Are: A Peaceful Protest March with Music, brought thousands to the streets. “When you bring music into the mix, that’s one way of bringing people together,” he told CNN. A few weeks later, in a special performance for the digital Aspen Ideas Festival, Batiste reflected on why music is integral to moments of significant cultural change. He shared notes from his composition “American Symphony” — which reinterprets classic genres and asks: Are we ready to change?