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Jon Batiste's 'We Are' reclaims folk music / Forbes

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Forbes Andrea Bossi writes......Louisiana born and Grammy-nominated musician Jon Batiste released his new album, WE ARE. Through a rich mix musical styles, from jazz to melodic rap, he tells stories of boyhood, joy, overcoming and love with 13 songs. To create a body of work like this, Batiste traveled deep into his roots, life experiences, and ideas about the future. During his journey, he learned more about his lineage, including with some help of DNA tracking.

"Just to know that my family has a line of four generations of Black family farmers, and to know that the music that came from that, and the culture that came from that, and the sustenance that came from that is a part of my line," he said. "There's so much that, even in knowing that and making music, changed the process of how I look at music making."

WE ARE has a richness that needs to be savored when listened to. The album can be best appreciated when it's played beginning to end, listened to just like a novel is read. And, if you close your eyes while it plays, he said, you can hear that it's also made like a movie.     PHOTO: LOUIS BROWNE

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