July 17, 2024

Community News

Acclaimed Musicians David Batiste & Son Damon Batiste Join Stellar Musical Lineup at Juneteenth Festival in Washington D.C.
June 7, 2024By by Jackie Wright

Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises Community Spotlight San Francisco ~ Dallas ~~~

Washington, D.C., June 7, 2024 – In an electrifying celebration of culture, freedom, and musical heritage, the Juneteenth Festival in Washington, D.C., is set to feature an unforgettable performance by David Batiste and his son, Damon Batiste. Known as part of NOLA’s "Royal Family of Music," the Batiste family's New Orleans-rooted contribution to music is well-noted, and their participation promises to elevate the festivities to new heights.
 
The festival, detailed at DC Juneteenth, marks a significant occasion in American history, celebrating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in Texas who learned of their freedom two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Three years ago, President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday. This year’s event will be held at the historic National Mall, providing a poignant backdrop for a day filled with reflection, celebration, and a rich array of cultural expressions.
 
Louisiana Music Hall of Famer David Batiste, a seminal figure in funk and jazz, has been a tremendous force in the New Orleans music scene for decades. As the founder of David Batiste and The Gladiators, he has played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of modern funk. His deep, soulful music resonates with the spirit of New Orleans, a city renowned for its vibrant musical traditions. David’s performance is expected to be a powerful homage to both the legacy of Juneteenth and the musical roots of his hometown.
 
Joining David on stage will be his son, Damon Batiste, an accomplished musician and cultural ambassador. Damon’s work extends beyond performance; he is deeply committed to promoting the cultural connections between New Orleans and Africa. His organization, the New Orleans South Africa Connection (NOSACONN), highlights these links, emphasizing the shared history and cultural bonds. The Essence of Africa series, detailed in a recent Gambit article, showcases the importance of these connections, illustrating how the African diaspora continues to influence and enrich American music and culture.
 
“We are honored to be performing with my Dad at the White House park over Father’s Day Weekend as we do so in honor of David Russell Batiste Jr., my brother ‘the musical genius’ as our musical phenom first cousin Jon Batiste said as we laid Russell to rest last October,” said Damon Batiste, CEO of NOSACONN. “It’s part of our legacy in a sense as my Dad, who influences future musicians, brought a group of young people from New Orleans to perform with him for the Obamas in the East Room of the White House.”
 
In addition to the Batiste family, the festival will showcase a diverse array of talented musicians. These include jazz sensation Terri Lyne Carrington; R&B artist Avery Sunshine; blues guitarist Christone "Kingfish" Ingram; hip-hop artist Rapsody; soul singer Leela James; and gospel powerhouse Kirk Franklin. This stellar lineup ensures a vibrant and dynamic celebration, reflecting the rich musical heritage of African American culture.
 
The Juneteenth Festival will not only celebrate the historical significance of the day but also the enduring legacy of African American music. The Batiste family’s involvement underscores the profound impact of New Orleans’ musical heritage on the broader American cultural landscape. The festival will feature a diverse lineup of performers, food vendors, educational workshops, and historical reenactments, providing attendees with a multifaceted experience of Juneteenth.
 
David and Damon Batiste’s performance is anticipated to be a highlight of the festival, offering a dynamic blend of traditional New Orleans funk, jazz, and contemporary sounds. Their music will serve as a tribute to the resilience and creativity of African American communities, reflecting the joy and struggles of the journey toward freedom and equality.
 
“We are honored to have David and Damon Batiste join our phenomenal line up for this year’s Juneteenth Festival,” said Maria Jenkins Juneteenth Festival Organizer  . “Their music and cultural contributions embody the spirit of Juneteenth, celebrating freedom, heritage, and the unbreakable bonds within the African American community.”
 
The festival is free to the public, inviting people of all backgrounds to come together in celebration. It aims to foster understanding and appreciation for the rich cultural tapestry that African American history brings to the nation. With the Batiste family’s participation, the event is set to be an unforgettable celebration of freedom, music, and heritage.
 
For more information about the festival and the full schedule of events, please visit DC Juneteenth-(https://sites.google.com/view/dcjuneteenth).
 
Juneteenth Contact:
 
Maria Jenkins 
Juneteenth Festival Organizer 
Email: info@dcjuneteenth.org 
Phone: (202) 555-0193
 
Contact for The Batistes:
 
Jackie Wright 
Email: Jackiewright@wrightnow.biz 
Cell: (415) 525-0410

 


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