Daughter Nona Gaye and ex-wife Janis Gaye of late singer Marvin Gaye, leave court in Los Angeles, California March 10th, 2015. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Corbis
Marvin Gaye's children have penned an open letter in the hope of "set[ting] the record straight on a few misconceptions" in the media's coverage of their successful lawsuit against the writers of Robin Thicke's 2013 hit "Blurred Lines."
Nona Gaye, Frankie Gaye and Marvin Gaye III's joint letter mainly dives into the background and legacy of Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up," the 1977 single the court found to have been copied by Thicke and co-writer Pharrell Williams.
In the letter, the siblings imagine how their father would have handled the situation. "If he were alive today, we feel he would embrace the technology available to artists and the diverse music choices and spaces accessible to fans who can stream a song at a moment's notice," the siblings wrote. "But we also know he would be vigilant about safeguarding the artist's rights. He also gave credit where credit is due."
Even though the outcome of the lawsuit favored the Gaye family, the children claim that all of this could have been avoided if Thicke and Williams had approached the family before releasing the single, especially since the similarities were deemed to be not coincidental. "Like most artists, they could have licensed and secured the song for appropriate usage," the family stated. "This did not happen. We would have welcomed a conversation with them before the release of their work. This also did not happen."
Thicke and Pharrell Williams lost the copyright suit on March 10th. Following the court's decision, the lawyer representing Marvin Gaye's family has sought to halt all sales of "Blurred Lines." Since the proceedings, the family had noted some similarities between Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" and Williams' "Happy," though the family has confirmed in the open letter that they "have absolutely no claim whatsoever concerning 'Happy.'"
Read the full open letter from Marvin Gaye's children below.
An Open Letter from the Children of Marvin Gaye 3/18/15
We want to extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude for the outpouring of love and support we have received from all of our father’s fans and friends, as well as artists and industry folks who contacted us surrounding the recent events concerning his song, “Got to Give It Up.” Your kindness and encouragement gave us incredible strength and perseverance. We are so incredibly grateful for your support as well as the hard work and dedication of our amazing legal team and experts. We thank you all.
We especially want to thank our mom Jan for her belief in what we were doing all along, and for her never ending support.
We will celebrate what would have been our dad’s 76th birthday next month, and though we miss him every day – just like the many thousands of well-wishers who have expressed their heartfelt goodwill - it is through his music that we find our compass and our paths moving forward. We are his children, but we too are his fans and we hold his music dear.
It is in that spirit and on behalf of all those who Dad always considered an extended family, his fans, we take this opportunity to set the record straight on a few misconceptions echoing through some news and social media platforms about our intentions, our plans, and the so-called ‘larger’ ramifications of this case within the music industry.
Originally released in 1977, “Got to Give It Up” became one of our dad’s most cherished hits, still a favorite at backyard barbecues, weddings, parties, on the radio, or on your iPod. As Oprah said, it is one of her “favorite party songs of all time.” The comments on social media, emails and calls we received after the verdict affirmed for us that the song continues to touch in even deeper ways, becoming part of the soundtrack to so many lives. “Got to Give It Up” is also recognized by Billboard Magazine as the fourth biggest single of the 30 charting hits our dad created during his extraordinary career.
It has been nearly 38 years since its initial release: tastes change, trends evolve, but we should all be able to agree that it’s a testament to the enduring power of “Got to Give It Up” that we have arrived at this juncture with Mr. Thicke and Mr. Williams, at all. The fact that they have openly acknowledged their respect and admiration for the song is public knowledge, and further proof of its resonance with an entirely new generation of music fans.
However, most songwriting begins with an organic approach; a songwriter brings his or her influences to the table and then works creatively from a blank slate in the crafting of their song to ensure originality and the integrity of their creation. If Mr. Thicke and Mr. Williams had tried to create a new song and coincidentally infused “Got to Give It Up” into their work, instead of deliberately undertaking to “write a song with the same groove," we would probably be having a different conversation.
Like most artists, they could have licensed and secured the song for appropriate usage; a simple procedure usually arranged in advance of the song’s release. This did not happen. We would have welcomed a conversation with them before the release of their work. This also did not happen.
Instead of licensing our father’s song and giving him the appropriate songwriter credit, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams released “Blurred Lines” and then filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against us, forcing us into court. They sought to quickly affirm that their song was “starkly different,” than “Got to Give It Up.” The Judge denied their motion for Summary Judgement, and a jury was charged with determining the “extrinsic and intrinsic similarities” of the songs. The jury has spoken.
We wanted to also make clear that the jury was not permitted to listen to the actual sound recording of “Got to Give It Up.” Our dad’s powerful vocal performance of his own song along with unique background sounds were eliminated from the trial, and the copyright infringement was based entirely on the similarity of the basic musical compositions, not on “style,” or “feel,” or “era,” or “genre.” His song is so iconic that its basic composition stood strong. We feel this further amplifies the soundness of the verdict.
Like all music fans, we have an added appreciation for songs that touch us in mysterious ways. Mr. Thicke and Mr. Williams certainly have a right to be inspired by “Got to Give It Up” but as the jury ruled, they did not have the right to use it without permission as a blueprint for a track they were constructing.
Great artists like our dad intentionally build their music to last, but we as the caretakers of such treasures, have an obligation to be vigilant about preserving the integrity of the music so that future generations understand its origins and feel its effect as the artist intended, and to assure that it retains its value.
We feel as many do that, our father, Marvin Gaye, is an artist for the ages. But whether we’re talking about a work created 50 years ago or a work created 50 years from now – protecting the legacy of original artistry is not a personal obligation, but a universal commitment in support of enduring creative achievement, encouraging future artists to also aim for new ground and their own legacies. That is what copyright laws help us do; they give people the incentive to write original songs and then help protect those songs.
Our dad spent his life writing music- that is his legacy to us all- he wrote from his heart and was a brilliant songwriter, arranger, producer and one-of-a-kind vocalist. If he were alive today, we feel he would embrace the technology available to artists and the diverse music choices and spaces accessible to fans who can stream a song at a moment’s notice. But we also know he would be vigilant about safeguarding the artist’s rights; a sacred devotion to not only the artist, but key in encouraging and supporting innovation. He also gave credit where credit is due.
Howard King, the attorney for Mr. Thicke and Mr. Williams stated after the verdict: “We owe it to songwriters around the world to make sure this verdict doesn’t stand. My clients know they wrote the song ‘Blurred Lines’ from their heart and souls and no other source.”
We never for a minute suggested that Mr. Thicke and Mr. Williams’ hearts weren’t in it. But a jury of eight men and women have ruled that the source for “Blurred Lines” was the song “Got to Give It Up,” a song our dad wrote from his heart, and delivered to the world with pure joy.
With the digital age upon us, the threat of greater infringement looms for every artist. It is our wish that our dad’s legacy, and all great music, past, present, and future, be enjoyed and protected, with the knowledge that adhering to copyright standards assures our musical treasures will always be valued.
And finally, we want to put to rest any rumors that we are contemplating claims against Pharrell Williams for his song, “Happy.” This is 100% false. We have absolutely no claim whatsoever concerning “Happy.”
Arkette Jean Baptiste, Choir Director performing the National Anthem at the Dallas Mavericks game
"I'm proud of my Daughter"
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Jazz band leader files $100m lawsuit against rap stars over 'illegal sampling'
New Orleans musician Paul Batiste accuses artists including T-Pain, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled of stealing his band's music
On the rights track … T-Pain, one of the defendants named in Paul Batiste's suit. Photograph: Michael Caulfield/Getty Images North America
The leader of a New Orleans jazz band has filed a $100m (£64m) lawsuit against some of rap's biggest names, accusing T-Pain, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled of illegally sampling their music. Paul Batiste alleges that the rappers and their labels "wrongfully copied nearly every song" in the Batiste Brothers Band's decades-old catalogue.
Lawyers for Batiste filed his lawsuit in US district court last week. Court papers also named the rappers Ace Hood and Pitbull, as well as almost every major hip-hop label and publishing company, including Cash Money, Fueled By Ramen, RCA Records, Universal, Sony/ATV, Def Jam, Zomba, WB Music and EMI Blackwood. According to documents obtained by AllHipHop, the defendants "have released an immense number of songs infringing upon [Batiste's] catalogue … poach[ing] beats, lyrics, melodies and chords".
Founded in 1976, the Batiste Brothers Band describe themselves as "a major influence on the current New Orleans jazz scene". Certainly the Batistes are one of Louisiana's most important musical families, and until recently one of the state's top arts schools bore the Batiste name. Batiste siblings and children have had connections to groups including the Meters, David and the Gladiators, George Clinton, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Wynton Marsalis and Prince.
In addition to copying musical content, some defendants even stole song titles, claim lawyers for Paul Batiste: four rap songs, Freeze, Download, Overtime, and Boom, "have the same or nearly identical titles to [Batiste]'s songs, Freeze, Download My Love, Overtime and Bam There You Have It". And because many of the allegedly infringing songs have been released several times, Batiste's complaints begin to balloon: "Each release constitutes an independent act or acts of infringement." Hence the $100m in damages.
Because there isn't much Batiste Brothers Band music available online, it's difficult to get a quick sense of the legitimacy of the group's complaint. But a short listen to Batiste's synthy 1999 song Sportsman's Paradise does indicate a certain similarity to the 2008 T-Pain single Freeze.
Over the past 25 years Batiste has already fought several lawsuits concerning the unauthorised sampling of his compositions, including litigation against PM Dawn, Miller Beer and the Rebirth Brass Band, all of which were settled out of court. "Lawsuits are not fun," he wrote on his website. "The litigations took a toll and frustrated our efforts to grow in the music industry … They take up all your time and the results are sometimes little, but we had no choice but to claim what is ours."
The defendants have yet to issue a statement on this case.
Batiste Cultural Arts Academy will be renamed, stay in ReNEW network, CEO says
Students from Batiste Cultural Arts Academy,a charter school that will change names next week, play some of the new instruments they received thanks to a $25,000 donation from Fidelity Investments and the Fidelity FutureStage arts education program in 2010. (The Times-Picayune archive)
Batiste Cultural Arts Academy will change its name to ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy on Wednesday, the chief executive of the ReNEW charter school network said. ReNEW runs fiveNew Orleans charters in the Recovery School District.
Announcements had appeared on Facebook and several websites that the Irish Channel school not only was leaving the ReNEW network but also was moving to the campus of Coghill, a recently chartered elementary in Gentilly, with directions for people to call or email Paul Batiste, a member of the famed musician family, for information. But ReNew CEO Gary Robichaux on Thursday described the situation as a tussle over naming rights, saying Paul Batiste's attorney called about a month ago to demand $200,000 in exchange for the Batiste name.
Robichaux declined. "We can't use state taxpayers' dollars to honor someone on the side of a building," he said.
The ReNew network had in fact already received permission from the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to change the school's name in an effort to unify names across the network, Robichaux said. The arts-integrated curriculum will remain the same, and Damon and David Batiste still work for ReNEW. Paul Batiste left ReNEW's employ around October 2012, Robichaux said.
David Batiste said he had retained a lawyer to challenge Paul for the rights to use the family name. Neither Paul Batiste nor the staff at Coghill immediately responded to requests for comment.
On May 29, 2013, Batiste Cultural Arts Academy® is LEAVING ReNew at Live Oak. For information Contact: Paul Batiste 504-738-3040 and firstname.lastname@example.org
To the students and parents: We love you and have been proud to spend the last three years with you. We wish you continued success. Keep up the good work and God Bless You! -Mr. Paul Batiste-Get the new CD "PAUL BATISTE MUSIC" ON "ITunes" today.............CLICK ON iTunes NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! ITunes..........Itunes.........Itunes...... or
Enjoyed your stay in "New Orleans?" Well, take some home with you...............(Gon' be Dat) New Orleans Music..........buy the digital music and the book........Amazon.com.....have a piece of New Orleans on your digital devices. GO! NEW ORLEANS.........504-738-3040 PAUL A. BATISTE
(Still) Singing the Blues
written and performed by Paul Batiste all rights reserved
Move That Body has finally been released on iTunes...and Amazon mp3......coming September 6, 2013 featuring "Ring Me" and more............
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"World of Blues"
Performed by Paul Batiste all rights reserved
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It's the April 19, 2013 release of (Gon' be Dat) New Orleans Music the Album by Batiste Brothers Band
It's the April 19, 2013 release of (Gon' be Dat) New Orleans Music the Album by Batiste Brothers Band buy "It's All About the Family" on iTunes the April 19, 2013 release of (Gon' be Dat) New Orleans Music the Album by Batiste Brothers Band
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Mrs. Obama tells New Orleans students to 'dream big'
It's All About the Family by Batiste Brothers Band written by Paul Batiste
all rights reserved
Press Play> Funky Soul written by Paul Batiste
The nineties and later were volatile with lawsuits where we sued for and got the copyrights returned to “Funky Soul.” The lawsuit verses P.M. Dawn, Isaac Bolden, Island Records Ltd, and others took seven years for them to settle.
Along with that one, I sued Miller Beer for “It’s On (The Jam is on)/”Jamizon” and they settled. It was a very stressful lawsuit. It lasted for years and it took a toll on me.
After that, I was listening to the radio and heard another one of my songs. Only this time it was a brass band version. The “(Gon’ be Dat) New Orleans Music” lawsuit was settled in 2008 and the Mardi Gras Records, Rebirth Brass Band version of “New Orleans Music” was returned to me.
As the idea popped into my head, I composed “New Orleans Music” in 1984. I noticed that there was nothing to describe the city’s music. There were terms like “Dixie Land Jazz” and “Traditional.” Consequently, there was nothing specific to New Orleans, so I thought about the title and melody for a song. Mardi Gras Records and Rebirth Brass Band had recorded the song without my permission and were sued for copyright infringement. Not to be mistaken for sueing because someone used the name “New Orleans Music” in a song. Names are trademark issues. Lawsuits of this nature is about the underlining melody and accompanying music.
Ideas from the Holy Spirit
I feel, I have a gift to be able to compose songs. It starts with hearing in my imagination a “hook” that’s complete with words and music. The rest is composition with form, repetition and contrast. I don’t write unless it comes to me from inspiration.
Lawsuits are not fun. They take up all your time and the results are sometimes little, but we had no choice but to claim what is ours. The litigations took a toll and frustrated our efforts to grow in the music industry. Our music is infringed on all over the world. A rap group in France (Supreme NTM) sampled “Funky Soul” and we never got a cent from it. It makes you not want to put music out there for fear of someone stealing it, but I continue to publish because I love to create and perform. In the meantime, I was sequencing and recording using keyboards and drum machines. The method used was to record tracks in the Kurzweil keyboard and Roland drum machine. I took the tracks to Festival Recording Studio and dumped the tracks to ADAT tapes. Using sequencers, I was able to synchronize and record all tracks of eight songs.
As witnessed by my book—on occasion—I have something to say. The book I wrote, proves that there is much to talk about. However, I’m not the one to talk about it—so I thought. After many years of people telling me to come from behind the scenes and carry the torch. Meaning, they thought I should be the spokes person for The Batiste Family®. Well, the time has come for me to except the responsibility of speaking out. I once said I don’t like to speak and was told I missed my calling. That’s not a compliment.
It’s a calling to try to help others by speaking for them. Today, I want to speak for the Arts. I have many pages of background speaking for the Arts. Still, there’s much to be done. Now, I discovered, I can use the “Pen.” I don’t consider myself a writer, but I find myself expressing myself through the Arts and writing is another great form of the Arts.
Therefore, from time to time, I will be writing a Newsletter. I don’t have a format or schedule to write to you, so it’ll take some time for this to become organized.
The subject today—as always—is family. I have spent many years and words selling the idea of “Family.” Somehow, I don’t see enough credit going to “Family.” In 1982, I wrote, “It’s All About the Family.” It’s a great song, but it seems it didn’t get the attention it should have gotten. When I conceived it, I thought it would become a million seller. When it didn’t become an all time favorite, I knew how hard the battle would be. Nonetheless, I continue to struggle with the concept of total family involvement. It’s been a mission of mine to show what happens when everyone sticks together.
Until now, I have had total involvement of the entire Batiste Family®. I have been complimented on how, I was able to keep them together since 1971. After decades of trying to hold on to family members, “Times Have Changed.”
Today, I’m announcing the departure of “David Batiste and Damon Batiste” from the Batiste Brothers Band®/The Batiste Family®. I wish them good luck in there endeavor to “Go Solo.” Though, I understand the pressures of life to move forward, I will miss their presence on stage with The Batiste Family® and Batiste Brothers Band®.
I have exclusive rights to book the band. All Rights Reserved
Paul A. Batiste
Founder of Batiste Brothers Band®, The Batiste Family® and Batiste Cultural Arts Academy@
“SOLO VS. FAMILY”
There are those who would benefit from going “Solo.” There are great examples of artist who left the pack behind, and I applaud the ambition and talent it takes to go solo. The hard work and dedication to one’s self for the sake of gain takes tremendous will power. Now, to clear the air, I must say nothing is wrong with going solo.
In a like manner, there’s nothing wrong with going family. Family is home. Though, not always at a house, home can be a city, state, country or a nation. We all can be a family. I have written lesson plans, songs and enlisted family members to be family for decades. It works. There are many success stories stemming from “home.” I remember what my college professor once said, “There’s strength in numbers.” What makes the Batiste Brothers strong is family.
People love family because they can relate directly to the love. “Brothers” is “Family” and so are sisters, children and other members. Even companies can exhibit unity as well as trust. Organizations have the ability to look sound and feel like everybody belongs.
On the other hand, I know there are differences in missions. Also, it’s possible for business to come first. However, if there’s no corruption, then even business can have trust.
What I’m trying to say is “Keep the Family.” Those are the lyrics to a song I wrote in 1982. Decades ago, I knew how difficult my plan for unity among all families would be.
Let’s keep the hope and desire to be “One” in our goals and missions. Bands and organization should stick together and try to have the same exclusive members and enjoy the success I have had with keeping the family for 4 decades.
Paul A. Batiste
The legendary Album "Freeze" is on ebay. Today, get your copy of the world famous Batiste Brothers Band hit of the eighties,,,,Now on ebay.....written by Paul Batiste....featuring the hit....."It's All About the Family"....with "Freeze" and "Dancin' Shoes"
"The One" Batiste Brothers Band. Contact Paul A. Batiste 504 738 3040
WASHINGTON - "Dream big. Don't aim low, aim high." That was the message First Lady Michelle Obama delivered Wednesday to 80 Middle School students, including 22 from New Orleans. "You have to prepare your minds and your bodies for greatness," Mrs. Obama said at the ornate State Dining Room at the White House.
Michelle Obama and family (White House photo)
For now, she told the students, their main job, as she regularly reminds her two daughters, "is to go to school, do your homework everyday."
The New Orleans contingent was from Batiste Cultural Arts Academy, one of eight schools nationally chosen for a two-year federal Turnaround Arts program designed to show how involvement in the arts can boost grades, graduation rates and civil engagement.
The First Lady told the students that in addition to working hard at school, they need to read everything "you can get your hands on."
"That's one of the things that President Obama does - he reads everything. He reads all the time. You have to read, read, and read again," Mrs. Obama said.
The First Lady told the students if they work hard, and get a little encouragement along the way, they will have great opportunities.
"The truth is that I know that I wouldn't be where I am today, and I know that my husband, President Obama, wouldn't be where he is today if he hadn't gotten that kind of inspiration from somebody in our lives. We wouldn't be who we are today without all these people who pushed us and believed in us and gave us opportunities to learn and grow and fulfill our potential. We wouldn't be here."
The students watched the Academy Award nominated film, "Beasts of the Southern Wild," and Mrs. Obama signaled how she'd vote if given the chance. The inspiring story of how a six-year-old girl helped her family overcome tremendous obstacles in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is one of the "most powerful and most important" films in a long time, Mrs. Obama said.
"It shows us the strength of our communities, no matter what they look like," Mrs. Obama said. "It shows us that these communities can give us the power to overcome any kind of obstacles. And it also tells a compelling story of poverty and devastation, but also of hope and love in the midst of some great challenges."
The Batiste students were excited about the chance to meet Mrs. Obama, as well as the star of the inspirational movie, Quvenzhane Wallis, who plays six-year-old Hushpuppy. Hushpuppy, the movie's heroine.
"It was great," said Gary Robichaux, executive director of the charter management organization, ReNew, which operates Batiste. "We got to meet with the First Lady. We just watched the president land in his helicopter from his trip (to North Carolina). And we even got to see Bo (the Obama's dog) play on the front lawn of the White House. Very cool."
The students were excited.
"I know New Orleans has a lot of negative things going on, and this is a chance to see something positive," said Algernon Jacques, 12, a 7th grader.
Algernon got the advice from Mrs. Obama he sought on "how to do well in life."
Paul Batiste, founder of the Batiste Brothers Band who helped found the school located at the former Live Oak Elementary School, said he's thrilled the students had a chance to meet the First Lady and get a behind-the-scenes look at America's most famous house.
"I can't tell how excited I am that our students are getting this opportunity," Batiste said. "The students have come a long way."
Book Signing at The Community Book Center January 26, 2013
The Batiste Brothers Band is not touring France this year. Look for us next year!
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Batiste Brothers Band®
Dynasty-Batiste Brothers, Inc
In 1976, I founded the Batiste Brothers Band® to establish our own identity and create a home base. Specifically, we had backed-up King Floyd on the road and when we broke down in North Carolina, we were invited over to the school simply because we were his band, but that wasn’t who we were. Sure, we were “Side persons,” but we had established ourselves as a musical family. When we’d open for King, the crowd went wild with excitement. We’d warm them up to a frenzy. Naturally, when the star came out, the crowd would grow even more frantic. They loved the show, but we’d get no credit for the night. Michael, David and I were the backbone of the night. From rehearsals to equipment and transportation, my family took most of the tasks. There were several reasons the Gladiators broke up, but the most important reason was for me to start a family group with the goal to have family members be players, and the “Band” part of the name would apply to our musician friends in the group. Family was never meant to exclude other members.
The Elm St. Practice room would soon be replaced by my living room. I set up my front room just as I’d set up the band room on Elm Street-a set of drums, bass amp, guitar amp, keyboards, keyboard amplifiers and a P.A. System.
While in college, I learned about having an identity. Music was undergoing it’s usual transformation. It was commercial to have a musical family group. Then, the Isley Brothers, the Brothers Johnson, the Jackson 5 and other musical families existed.
Besides family groups, there were groups sprouting up all over the country that featured group songs. Having a love for performing on stage with my family made it that much better. Being influenced by those family groups as a commercial success story, I recruited all Batiste family members to become a part of a record venture. It’d be and independent record company to start an industry such as Motown, or early Cosimo Studio recordings in New Orleans.
The goal would be to put out a hit record like King Floyd had done. I thought we could get picked up by a major record company and have the upper hand on a deal. I was never a fan of getting a record deal because everybody I knew who had one had been messed over. The important thing would be to negotiate a good deal. I knew of stories about deals where the producer cut the deal and he was given $150,000.00 to produce the tracks. The money would go into escrow to be recouped from record sales. The producer would agree to do an album.
I went to Dad with the idea of putting together an independent production and record company. Besides being a pragmatist, Dad was too consumed with raising seven boys and bringing in the major part of the families income. Though, Mom had the same tasks, she listened to what I told her about the music business and put up $1,000.00 as her 20% shares to start a record company. I put up money for 51% of the corporation.
It would be called Dynasty-Batiste Brothers Incorporated. Estella C. Batiste, Paul Batiste, Michael Batiste, Peter Batiste, James Batiste and Thomas Batiste are stockholders for their share of the corporation. David was not in the corporation because this time we were still separated. He’d already started another group with his wife and a white guy on guitar. The guitarist was real good. He was the first person I saw play harmonics on the guitar. Later, David would play with the Meters. He would later go on Saturday Night Live with them. The Meters would soon break up.
Getting started with your own Batiste Brand Franchise License is as easy as A,B,C!
Contact Our Franchise Development Team. During your initial communication with us we will answer your questions regarding your interest and what it takes to be awarded your own Batiste Brand Franchise License.
B. Complete and Submit the Confidential Personal Statement and Franchise Questionnaire. This is done through the information package and then mailed to our corporate office.
C. Schedule a phone meeting with our Franchise Team. This meeting will allow you to speak with the key people behind our success and will be your opportunity to evaluate the necessary aspects of owning your own Batiste Brand Franchise.
Franchising has dramatically grown in popularity. The International Franchise Association reports that growth in the number of franchised businesses is outpacing any other business growth strategy.
Why is Franchising so appealing? One main attribute is an increased likelihood of success. The international Franchise Association estimates that franchisees have a 90% survival rate over a ten year period, as compared to an 18% survival rate for non franchised businesses.
Furthermore, with a franchise, you are buying a proven business. Someone else has already made the mistakes and worked out the system. When you pay the initial franchise fee and the ongoing royalties, you receive, in return, training, a recognizable brand name, and economies of scale with respect to everything from marketing campaigns to purchases. This facilitates ease of starting hour practice, accelerates startup schedules, and provides ongoing support and networking opportunities.
We are ready to assist you in locating a site for your Batiste Brand License. We have developed site selection criteria that you can use as a guideline in locating your Venue. While we do not select the site for you, we will be available to help you based on our experience selecting sites for our own establishment. We will review your site choices and help you make an evaluation based on building criteria, market area, site characteristic and access.
Plenty people never consider owning their own business because they are unsure of how to operate it. With a Batiste Brand Franchise, you don’t have to worry about a thing. We will provide you with plenty of training for you and your staff. Our training will cover everything from education to entertainment and the Arts. That’s not all you will receive. After completing of our 10 day Professional Development (2 weeks) training course, we will also provide you with on going training as needed. All you have to do is call. We will also provide you with phone consultation, should you need it.
Name your Charter, Private, or Public School "Batiste," First in family entertainment and education. I am the founder and orchestrater. I can make it happen for you. I own the federally registered trade name and have the rights to license the name to you. As the administrator, I will partner the brand with you and your organization. It's just that simple!!!! ABC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CALL ME: PAUL BATISTE - 504-738 3040 - THANKS!!!
Need a charity to donate to? Did you know, your donation to the Paul A. Batiste Conservatory, Inc. with a 501 (c) 3 is a tax deductible contribution? The foundation is a school support organization. Donate online at: www.paulbatisteconservatory.com or contact Paul Batiste at: email@example.com -Paul A. Batiste-
Composer, Paul Batiste has been writing music since the age of 5. All of the Batiste Brothers Band songs have been the brain child of his genius approach to inventing sound. The main hits and components of "Funky Soul" was originated by Paul. The distinctive hits have been used to knock upon entering a door by the entire Batiste Family. The guitar rhythm affectionately call the "Chank" has influenced many New Orleans guitarist. The Warner Brothers 1976 "Chug a Lug" by the Hall of Fame nominee the "Meters" was accompanied by Paul on rhythm guitar at Capital Studios in Baton Rouge. Musicians were enthralled in Japan when he toured in the nineties. Also, he, Snooks Eglin, Eddie Bo and Russell lit up the stage at Utrecht Holland's Blues Festival in Europe. As a teacher, he has mentored the new era Brass bands to record and perform his original "(Gon' be Dat) New Orleans Music." His compositions are the sound track for the 3 state workbook "Sugar Cain" a bitter sweet legacy by OPSB and is at the Smithsonian. The lyrics to "Louisiana," his original are next to Langston Hughes in the poem section of the book. In addition, the Jazz CD "Seductive Recital" was a Smooth Jazz sensation and turntable hit. The album is a one man band effort using technology and innovation. All Batiste Brand websites are constructed by Paul A. Batiste.
Paul Batiste and the Batiste Brothers Band at the Convention Center
I was chosen to lead the family by my mother. I sacrificed and was rewarded with helping the family. Now, I lead as the only member of the family licensed to teach music. I am proud of what people say about the family. Equally, I am proud of what God has done for me and the children. Call Paul at: 504-738-3040 I am no longer the Band Director for ReNew at Batiste Cultural Arts Academy
Currently, I have Licensed Batiste to ReNew until May 2013
Damon Batiste and David Batiste are no longer booking for the Batiste Brothers Band®/The Batiste Family®
For exclusive attention and booking call: Paul Batiste (504)738-3040 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ON SALE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BUY IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ON SALE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BUY IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Batiste Cultural Arts Academy® is a registered trade name of Paul A. Batiste doing business as Batiste Family International School®
Welcome to the Batiste Brand Hub. Here, you can get up to date information on all Batiste Brand Events. Call:Paul @ 504-738-3040
School band practice: Monday, June 18, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.
As the only member of The Batiste Family® in Louisiana who has a degree in education, I am chosen to look after the interest of the musical family. My mother who passed away in 2007, left me with the responsibility of leadership:
Excerpts from “Memoirs of Paul A. Batiste"
Viettnam era veteran
When I returned from the military, my Mom asked me to manage the Gladiators. It was because I always listened to what my mother said that I started to manage the band, and not some selfish reason or desire to be in charge. If Mom said it, I did it. She always managed our affairs to keep us safe. My Mom was the classic Mom. She kept an eye on everything we did. When we played the “Whitey’s-Devil’s Den” on Banks, Mom spoke to the Club owner and inquired what took place the nights we played. The Club owner told her what he thought of me, so I started booking and continued to direct and arrange the music. Some of the things I did was buy sound equipment, a van for transportation and use my apartment to rehearse. Before the seventies, equipment was small. I could remember doing a gig with one Sears Silvertone amplifier for everything including the microphone, keyboard, bass and Silvertone lead guitar. Also, by the time I returned, the band didn’t have a horn section.
Times were changing and rhythm sections were becoming popular. Music was ever evolving and now we would require a large Public Address System. We were one of the first to buy a JBL system with eighteen inch woofers with horns, tweeters and mid range speakers. This was because we had my brother—Michael—who studies electronics. I delegated authority to members of the family. I looked at what each member did well and gave them an assignment. David was good with the microphone, so I made him the spokes person. Later, when Peter would join the band, I worked with him on the band account. Everyone was good at something. To improve our vocals, I hired vocalist. The female vocalist was a good addition to the band for the sound I was trying to develop. I wanted a group sound. In the sixties and seventies self contained groups were not the norm. One of the first groups that sang and played the instrument at the same time was the Beatles. The group from England took America by storm.
It was a long hot summer and we weren’t gigging often, so I came up with an idea for a festival at Lee’s Gap. In Little Farms
Lee's Song written and produced by Paul A. Batiste
all rights reserved
Batiste Family International School of the Performing Arts
The 2008-2009 school year would prove to be interesting. U. S. Senator Mary Landrieu tries to help the family. By 2002, our popularity had reached the Senator. I was introduced to the Senator in the nineties, so I think she knew who I was. I know she said she often saw us on WWL-TV Morning News and performing at events. I was once told Senator Landrieu liked the song “Louisiana”-the song I wrote. It was inspirational. On another occasion, we played for the entire Landrieu family. The whole family had a great time. It was our privilege to perform for them. Well, after several years of planning, the Senator sent a representative to the Recovery School District.
My family came to me with a plan to go with Mary Landrieu’s representative to RSD. My nephew called me and asked me, “Who is Paul Vallas?” I said, jokingly, “He is who they said he is.” Previously, attempts with other potential partners to get this type of plan together didn’t pan out. That’s why I didn’t think meeting with RSD would work. Therefore, I suggested caution because I didn’t have a working knowledge of the deal. In addition, I knew my family didn’t have as much experience with education as I have. To my family, I am known as “The Educator of the Family.” Furthermore, I am always exceedingly consumed with responsibilities. Also, after thirty years in the district, I knew how fragile and delicate relations are and was before the storm. Yet, once they’d contacted Paul Vallas, Superintendent of RSD, I knew for the sake of my family, I had to step in and get what information I could. I was able to come in on the second meeting. By that time, David and Damon had already met with Paul Vallas. I would meet his Deputy Superintendent shortly afterwards.
In September of 2008, I met with Michael Haggen to discuss the partnering with Recovery School District and the Batiste Family to have Arts at Live Oak. The Deputy Superintendent had chosen Live Oak because he knew the principal, but it was destiny unfolding right in front of my eyes. Even so, I wrote a letter declining the opportunity saying we are not worthy.
The very school I had been teaching at when the storm came and one of the schools I had been fired from—because of Katrina—was discussed as potentially our school. I felt this could be vindication and God sent for the children. Somebody, somewhere was seeing something I would later understand. Wes Kungel—the Representative for Mary Landrieu—called me and said there would be a Certificate of Recognition and an Appropriation for the school. When I saw they were determined to have my family and willing to work so hard for the students, I had to reverse my position. My family’s reputation was at stake and the potential for an arts school at the same school I had worked at before the storm-it seemed ironic, but I was teaching at Wright and I’d become attached to the school. I knew it would be difficult to leave my students, but what if I could affect more students by adding to what I’d done at Wright.
Now, there were two band directors at the same school. It made for an uncomfortable set of circumstances. I didn’t want this to happen to me and the students because I had already struggled with putting music in Sophie B. Wright. Batiste School would cause more issues. For more than thirty years, I had been able to keep my performing business separate from teaching. Teaching is difficult enough, let alone monitoring of children while performing with the Batiste Brothers. Similarly, I didn’t want to add to it the responsibility of leading Batiste Brothers Band®, too, but my Mom had taught me to put family first.
In January, with two band directors at the school, I did my best to assure them everything would be better. I worked with the other band director to get the band ready for the upcoming parade-only weeks away. I showed him how to catalog the uniforms in numerical order. I showed him all of my charts. Additionally, I pointed out students who needed individualized instructions and what methods may work. As we started, I thought about how I worked from August to December without a lunch break and it had paid off because I had already put the band together for parade season. Accordingly, the students wouldn’t suffer the consequences of a disruption in leadership. The transition from one band director to the next was smooth for the children. The new guy would only have January and February to prepare, but I had faith in the band students; I knew they would do well. They’d worked so hard to get the first ever marching band-they were on automatic pilot.
While in the middle of two schools, I asked Wes to also have the Batiste program at Wright. I told him the principal said we are already doing the Batiste program and Arts at Wright. I said the location of Wright is great-right off St. Charles Ave.
Today is Tuesday and we go on TV with Dad on Friday. Band rehearsal for today will be the last practice day for this week because of report cards being issued. Therefore, I’ll have to finish up with the auditions and prepare the children for going on TV. I’ll tell them what I think they will be asked and tell them what I think the important points are. I want them to be aware that Leap testing and homework among other thinks are important. I’ll rally around the theme of “Music not just for the sake of music. Music for the sake of education.”
Well, Thursday brings nervousness. We go on TV tomorrow. I still have to confirm one more student and organize the show. I’ll find out how much time each performance will be on tomorrow. That’s nerve racking because I don’t know how much time the children will be asked to do. It’s live TV, so it would be easier if I knew how many songs we’ll be able to do. I assume the students will be asked to do one song.
Dad knows how to handle himself. Still, I’m concerned. Perhaps, unnecessarily so.
In the middle of all this is the uncertainty of the catastrophe in Japan. Now, the confirmed death toll is 4,800 with 8000 missing. There’s 6 reactors and 2 of them are in danger of a meltdown. In addition, the spent fuel rods poses a great danger of being exposed without being contained in water. Therefore, radiation is seeping into the atmosphere. The United States recommends an evacuation point of 50 miles from the plant. Each day brings more suspense.
It’s Friday, and it’s the news at WWL-TV, channel 4. I got to the studio at 5:00 a.m. and got a call from Jamal saying I needed to get a trombone from the school. That wasn’t a good sign. However, I had confidence in the day. I had hired a nurse to accompany my Dad. That worked out fine. The shot of Dad, the band students and the Batiste Brothers Band® on stage was huge in generations and in importance. We were surrounded by the news. Bad news of Japan, local reports about the police department, murders and crime. There were cooks, unknown food critics, news of festivals and even U.S. Attorney Jim Letten was in the studio. My students got a good lesson on what performers go through. Angela commented on how much work it takes to go on television.
Dad at age 98 said, “This kind of thing makes me want to stay around 4 more years.” I said, “Maybe you could stay until his teens again.” Now, Mom smiles down on us from Heaven.
I’m so glad I put this together not just today, but it’s been a life time of putting it together.
The weekend ended at St. Joan of Arc School festival with Michael, David, Peter, Damon, Russ, Andrew Joseph, John Sims, and me on stage. The school reminded me of when Dad drove John, David and me from Little Farms to town. I thought about Sister Damien who pinched ears as punishment, I thank her for her discipline. Most of all, I remembered the people and how good they were to us.
When I arrived at the school the crowd was in full swing and ready to have fun. Not long after I walked on the yard, the grandson of Ms. Miner stopped me to say hello. Behind him was several women I had known from my childhood days of practicing in Ms. Miner’s living room. She managed the Gladiators for a while by picking us up and bringing us to practice in the sixties.
The Lasere family from Little Farms was there and Pee Wee Cagnaletti from Elementary School danced in front of the stage. Pee Wee, Gordon and his family grew up with our family. The organizers said we want to have you back every year and we want you to play for our Lundi Gras Ball. Also, a childhood friend who visited us with the Cagnaletti family told me her daughter was in the band under my direction at Lafayette Elementary. Then, Ms. Langston came by to say hello. I taught her son, Perry at Wright.
Together, it was a fitting end to the weekend. Today, Dad called to ask how everything went at the gig. I told him we could be doing this every week or once a month, but we don’t seem to value working together to accomplish goals.
Well, I’m happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish with my family. We have been together since 1961. I have been the manager of the bands since I came out of the service in 1971. My being an educator spurred the family and others to want us to have a school named after us. Had things went my way, perhaps I would have been more happy, but I’m grateful for my past.
In less than a year, the students at Batiste Cultural Arts Academy® have captured the imagination of the citizens of New Orleans and the school staff. Today, Gary sent a letter to us attaching a letter from a person who’d been engaged in Live Oak on last school year. He said in a letter, he noticed a positive change in the entire school. He went on to comment, students who had major challenges on last year were bragging about marching in a parade and leading the band. Mom would have been proud of them.
I’m still pursuing the “Funky Soul” case. On Thursday, March 24, 2011, I went to another lawyer, and she said she would do some research and let me know if she would take the case.
After performing at St. Joan of Arc, the Parish is asking me to help them plugin music at the school.
This week, we’ll be performing for the LEAP pep rally at BCAA and Sci-Tech. I asked for the pep rally because we’d done it at Wright and I know what a motivational tool the rallies are. In addition, we have been invited to play for the parents at both schools.
BCAA and Sci-Tech are moving forward and I can see my fingerprints on both schools. We hear comments like the band is changing the culture of the schools and I know from experience that’s true.
From the school leaders, students, teachers and to the parents, I communicate with all facets of the schools by cooperating with them. They respect my ability to help and understand the students. In the school, there are students from all backgrounds. I am patient, nurturing and consistent with them.
I know we have a long way to go. However, our hard work and commitment to excellence will go a long way toward their future. They are our future.
Parent Appreciation Night
Today, we played for the Parent Appreciation night. The students were eager to play for their parents. We marched into the basement while the auditorium was being renovated. The parents were waiting for us to appear. They cheered as we marched in. We were marching for victory and the birth of Batiste Cultural Arts Academy Marching Band.
Tomorrow, we have a busy schedule. The band performs for the LEAP Pep Rally and Parent Appreciation night as Sci-Tech.
I’ve never been called a genius before. Especially, from someone who meant it. Well, after keeping the band students for three hours, we performed for Sci-Tech. The “First Time” band students were so eager until they asked me, “Are we there yet?” fifteen times. We had to march in the school auditorium and we lined up to go in the very place I sat in on July of last year. Only this time, I was with the Batiste Cultural Arts Academy® Marching Band. The crowd was very generous with recognition for the band. Keith wanted to end the total of thirteen songs with Mr. Magic. One parent of a band student, came all the way out side and said to Keith, “You got it.”
The parent that said I am a genius was excited because this was the first time he’d heard us. It’s easy to go to high accountability from scratch. The next level is difficult. I am far from a genius.
The other parent said we sounded like a college band. I kid you not. Compliments after a hard days work is the self worth I am talking about in this book. Students who participate in the Arts get many compliments.
Then, a gentleman who said we should be playing for the Hornets basketball team told me to call them. I gave him my card and asked him to contact the Hornets. None of this is true, but the truth is, considering the time element to form the band, they did a courageous and talented job. That is to say, we must continue to shoot for excellence because we don’t sound like a college marching band. Also, on our way out of the cafeteria a teacher who really meant it said we did an incredible job. Kia’s mother was very please. That pleased me the most, because she has a great value system.
Tomorrow, we’ll perform for the LEAP Pep Rally. The rally will make a statement on the end of the year of our intent. We want our purpose for being in school to be academic achievement and success. Band class plays an important roll in that, but test taking skills and focusing in class helps in achieving that goal.
It’s April 23, and Russell called me today and told me about the passing of Sam Henry. Recently, too many people of an era has left us. Sam was of a time when local rhythm sections ruled. In the seventies, Sam set Claiborne Ave. on fire when he backed Deacon john and Cyril Neville on B3 Hammond Organ. They played “Purple Haze” with a spirit that defied sound.
Later, I saw Sam in action with children. He accompanied strings on the piano. They played, “The Little Waltz in G.” Since that time, every time I get a chance to teach strings, we play “The Little Waltz in G.” His teaching was great and he had a knack for working with children. Students will miss him greatly.
Students are the life blood of a society. An endless sea of devotion, resources, energy, dedication and innocence. I am so proud that those students can say that in one year, Crashad, Keith and Audrey has been on TV twice. Taylor remembers fondly our visit to the Hilton Hotel. As I close the book, Batiste Academy Marching Band went on abc26 News to support the opening of the Lyons Center swimming pool and playground facility. This time we had band students and parents cheering “Hey” and shouting for their child. It was fun at 5:00 in the morning. The next day, we went back to the park to play for the Lyons Center fund raiser. The crowd was generous with applause and Ms. Berry had her three children to compliment the band. Ms. Ann, DaMareya’s mother and others, were there in support. The band did a great job.
Well, again, I have started an Arts program at a school. This time, it has my name on it. Yesterday, I looked up and saw part of the banner students were practicing with on the hall and saw Batiste on it. It was a strange feeling. I am not one for being out front. It feels like bragging and I don’t boast. However, I promote and advertise a business and that’s where the anxiety comes in because it requires putting ones name in lights. Still, I use the name for good. Now, thousands of children for years to come will be exposed to the tradition. A thought out tradition stemming from decades of being in the field-training. God has permitted me to gather all of this information and hand it on to the children, parents, my children, brothers, nephews. We all gain from what I have been given.
Gifts from God
For the first time, my family has jobs in education. Similarly, they are experiencing what it’s like to lead in today’s environment. This gives them more empathy for people in that position. Now, my niece and daughters are certified teachers and state social workers while my nephews are learning to teach in the class with me. My son is a pharmacist and musician. When I was in the SUNO Jazz Ensemble in the seventies and brought members to the university, family members were reluctant. Well, just one generation away, my nephew is a jazz musician in New York City with a masters degree. Likewise—years ago—I introduced my home recording studio to the family and now there are more studios in the family. The Dynasty Records label I started in 1978 influenced many in the city and family. The Brand I founded—for my parents—by leading the family, is respected in education and entertainment. My modesty will not let me take credit for all these things, but one has to act on “Gifts from God” and I do.
The excerpts from my book tell a story about how I became the leader of the Batiste family musical group.
FINALLY!!!!!! THE LONG AWAITED PAPERBACK BOOK "MEMOIRS OF PAUL A. BATISTE HAS ARRIVED!!!!RELEASE JULY 4, 2012 NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Batiste Cultural Arts AcademyWhere the
Best Achieving Talented Intellectual Students Try Excellence
The President's Committee on The Arts and The Humanities - an Arts Education Initiative
LOUISIANA STRONG REMIX FT. PAUL BATISTE PRESS PLAY:
GET READY!!!! New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for the Batiste Brothers Band at 12:25 Sunday, April 29th
"I am Trayvon" — "Peace" Paul Batiste
Batiste Brothers on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cok_OuNLGR4
PRESS PLAY FOR "RED ROSES" BY PAUL BATISTE
FROM THE Hit Jazz and technology CD "SEDUCTIVE RECITAL" (soon to be re-released) "One Man Band" all instruments performed by Paul Batiste
Joins us for or Friends and Family Reunion at Jazz Fest on Congo Square Stage at 12:25. SEE YOU THERE!!!!!
Paul A. Batiste is one of seven boys born to John and Estella Batiste.He is a professional musician, band director, guitar teacher with (LouisianaTeacher Certificate) and composer.He is the recipient of the Superintendent’s Award, Con Brio (for service to music), the National Elementary Schools Recognition Award and the Wal-Mart 2007 local Teacher of the Year Award.In addition, his experience in education and the entertainment business spans 30 years. He has been an educator for more than 30 years and 40 years of being a leader of the Gladiators, and more recently, the Batiste Brothers Band®.Also, he is a veteran of the US Army and former member of the 204th and 202nd Military Police Company. In addition, he has received the National Defense Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. This year, he is celebrating his 50th Anniversary in music. This makes him a knowledgeable and talented asset to the community.
He has embarked on an effort that will impact the music industry of Louisiana.The mission of the Conservatory is to put music education first in the music industry.By strengthening the music departments of our school systems, we strengthen the school system.The purpose of the Conservatory is to restore, preserve, protect, and support the arts in our schools.The Conservatory is an educational organization whose goals include replacing band instruments, band uniforms, sheet music materials and supplies lost due to Hurricane Katrina and providing scholarships to music students.
You can help!By making a tax-exempt donation to the Paul A. Batiste Conservatory of the Arts, Inc., a non-profit corporation and a 501(c) 3, you help fund the process of teaching the whole child.Music is an integral part of the learning process.Music develops self-esteem, self concept, self awareness, discipline, character, school spirit and a sense of belonging.In a like manner, it has been proven that it helps with test taking and the overall production of a student’s development.
Finally, assist us in placing music instruments in the hands of young people while keeping them away from instruments of destruction.Let’s put the Arts in young people’s lives.
Damon Batiste is not the leader of the Batiste Brothers Band®, The Batiste Family®, Batiste Cultural Arts Academy®or Batiste Family International School®. For information contact: Paul Batiste
Grammy Winner Chris Thomas King with Paul Batiste teaching students
Chris starred in the Movie, "Ray"
Affraid to fly
New Orleans Center for Creative Arts
The new millennium rained in doubts and pessimism with threats of a digital meltdown because of the failure to properly program 1999 to change to 2000. I didn’t want to fly on an airplane because of the threats to Americans and the threat of mass chaos predicted when the clocks roll over. Nevertheless, the clocks disaster did not occur.
We rehearsed Irma’s show for the Treasure Chest Casino at Irma’s Night Club on North Broad in New Orleans. It was difficult for Irma because she was committed to her band, but we gritted our teeth and pushed forward and the gigs were spectacular.
The movie “Ray” was filmed in New Orleans. Alonzo Bowens contacted me about the job of coach for Terrance Howard on guitar. I went to Metairie, where they had rehearsals. When I got there, I met Wendell Pierce and other actors from the movie. Terrance is an excellent guitarist. It was easy to work with him. However, I declined the job because it would’ve taken me away from my job teaching, too often.
At the same time, I was teaching at three schools-New Orleans Center for Creative Arts at Live Oak, Marquis de Lafayette, and Gentilly Terrace. The Literacy program was all over the district. At NOCCA Academy, I was teaching guitar for the IHOBF, at Lafayette, I was starting to recruit band students while holding classes, and at Gentilly Terrace, I taught band. The family played at Jazz Fest and it was another family reunion. Jonathan performed and brought along some of his friends. Trombone Shorty and James Andrews did an impromptu set with the Batiste Brothers Band®. That day, we had one of our largest crowds. I brought the general manager of the Treasure Chest along and she said we had an enough people on stage to have two bands. The crowd was ecstatic.
During this decade, New Orleans was having such a hard time with crime. Of the most notable crimes was that of the seven year old girl who was shot in the face. The little girl went to Lafayette Elementary. The murders were an affront to the value of life.
At the start of the 2005-06 school calendar year, I was having a tough time because due to the Literacy program music teachers were told to “hold” classes. The reason the principal—Ms. Carmel Mire—told me to continue teaching band was clear-we’d had so much success with our annual Gentilly Terrace Christmas and Spring Concerts at Benjamin Franklin High School Auditorium until it would be difficult to stop. At NOCCA, we had minor funding from the House of Blues Guitar program and meeting at 7:15 a.m., so we continued.
Additionally, the House of Blues foundation was contemplating funding my whole position, but meanwhile at Lafayette, the teachers that taught general music wanted me to pitch in. I had already started recruiting for band when Ms. Wanda Anderson-Gilliam—the Principal at Lafayette Elementary—called me and said what did you do to those teachers. Everybody was frustrated about the change of schedule that would not allow pullouts before the afternoon classes.
Then, the new music supervisor stepped in and told me, I would not be teaching band. I would be holding classes. Besides, she changed my schedule from half days at each school to whole days, so it would be impossible to do the NOCCA/House of Blues program. In spite of, I continued to meet children before school at 7:15 a.m. for practice at
he work began to get too difficult to be safe and consistent. I began to think it might be too difficult to march so soon. I told students we would not march in March for the upcoming Mardi Gras parades. They agreed safety first. I said my second concern is to be able to teach music theory and note reading. I said we can take the building and development time as an opportunity to do this right. Preparing to march in six months is rushing it. We should plan to march in the next school year.
Also, to the students, I said it’s up to you to take on the challenge and work hard to make it possible to march in six months. I told them it’s their responsibility to do what it takes to march. I’m here only to guide them in the right direction.
Well, Fidelity Investments-the people with the “Follow the Green Line” television commercials-and Mr. Holland’s Opus donated $30,000.00 worth of band instruments to the school.
The school band performed for the first time in the basement for 100 students, abc26 News and the Times-Picayune. The script was laid out by Fidelity and everything was perfect. I like the way they gave everybody something to say. The students reacted to it very well.
Gary Robichaux spoke first. He gave the family very good compliments. He addressed me as having taught at 15 schools in New Orleans and a member of the Batiste Family. I was surprised when he said the school was named after our family and was dedicated to the memory of my mother.
The audience of approximately 100 students at Batiste Academy sat quietly as the program went on. The band played the scale as a warm-up and the crowd applauded. We got a wonderful reception when we played the cadences featuring Ryan Batiste, L. C. La Flore and Krishawn Keasley on snare drum. L. C. is the student whose mother was in my class at Phillips Elementary. Keasley is the little girl who is with me in the Times-Picayune in 2009. Both students did a great job considering the short time we had to make the presentation. One gentleman from Fidelity said if we did that in 3 weeks, just think of what we could do in three months and more. Fidelity surprised the students with a gift of band instruments for the school. The program ended with the band marching out of the basement where the program was held.
IT'S HERE "MOVE THAT BODY" BY PAUL BATISTE......BUY IT NOW!!!! (ITUNES)
After we marched all the way up to the band room, they called me to the basement for an interview with abc26 News. The TV personality did a great job and was excited about the prospect of us marching in a first-ever parade.
The schedule I received from Ms. Kim Reilly of Fidelity was to go to the Hilton Hotel to march for the CUPA convention in Salon, AD. The entire experience was magnificent for the students and me. We marched in the exhibit area to “Grunk” and when we got to the main stage, we stopped. John was the speaker with a great script for the audience of Human Resource Departments of universities from all over the country. He called me up to speak and tell what we were going to play. I said with all the disasters New Orleans has experienced the non-profits have taken us from in the storm to out of the storm. Also, 6-5-4-3-2-1 and I don’t know if we will be ready to march by Carnival season, but we will try. Someone in the audience said, “You can do it.” I said the name of the song we are going to play is “All The Way.” We played the cadence and in the middle of the song, I encouraged Ryan and he did a solo to a rousing round of applause.
Afterward, they invited all the children in the band to meet with the conventioneers. That’s where I met the woman from Princeton who said the cost to go to Princeton is $50,000.00, but she could get students in for free. After she left me, she came back and my students spoke to her. I got cards from at least 8 people in Human Resources from universities.
The next day, when I went to work, I was called and told I was on TV. The night before, I didn’t see it on the news, but as I walked to the band room, students called me in Ms. Camacks’ class to see it on the internet. We looked at the news and as I looked at the band on TV, the students looked at me to see my reaction. Afterwards, I started to clap and the whole class clapped. When I walked out of the door a little girls asked me, “How it feels to be on television?” I said, “It feels great to see our school on TV.”
It was the first time I saw the students I’d pick to be interviewed on TV. Crashad Conner was very articulate in his delivery to let the television personality know he is in band to get a scholarship from Southern University. He said he is in band for that reason. After he spoke, Audrey said she wanted to go to Juilliard and explained it’s a college for musicians. I was so proud to be a part of students like these.
With only having seen my band students for three weeks, the Batiste brand had started 19 beginning band students capable of performing on their instruments to the level of performing for Fidelity. The band is well on its way to being capable of marching in a parade. As I said for abc26 television interview, the bottom-line is standardized tests and perhaps we will march in the first ever Mardi Gras parade in six months. Starting a band for parade season is small compared to the benefit of the discipline and education involved in the process.
Also, it is a great idea to motivate everybody using benchmarks and goals like a parade in six months, but there’s only a small window to recruit students for band. Then—during the start up process—it’s necessary to teach in an unorthodox manner. Once the band is started, we’ll be able to teach in a more traditional way. The performances we are doing are important to the donors who in turn give us the band instruments.
Band practice is in full swing and students are learning fast. We drill on precision and routines in the band room. One of the exercises is left foot forward (1) point the toe (2) lift the left knee high (3) toe down and (4) feet flat on the floor. We continue with the right foot. When we mix left face, right face with marching 8 to 5, the practices take shape and life. Therefore, I build a foundation for future marching musicians.
I feel the same as Kid and Clyde. Marching is not my first preference to teach young musicians. On the other hand, marching is an avenue to accomplish getting instruments, school spirit and pride. Also, one deals with sufficient numbers of children participating in healthy activities. Once engaged, a child will have opportunities to make decisions on how to approach music. In the past, some of my former students—after marching—decided to go to NOCCA and pursue a career in the Arts. That’s why I expose them to discipline and fundamentals which transfer to the proper value system.
Today, I met with Jamal, Ryan and Kristopher and I continued to tell them how important it is for us to be organized-complete with cues, signs and signals. These tools will serve us well in the future when identifying and extinguishing problems. One thing in particular is learning when to have full band or whole lessons and knowing when to have breakouts or sectionals.
They are learning fast, but they have a long way to go. I think back to when I started out as a teacher, it was a great honor, but it was very difficult. Conversely, I am their uncle who is more than willing to share all of my skills with them. Just as I did with being the leader of Batiste Brothers Band®, I’m doing it these days with education.
Sometimes, they get a little anxious and ahead of themselves, but they recover nicely. Well, besides teaching students, I am also teaching my nephews. I do so with pride and the continued message my mother often preached, “Go out there and help them, Paul.” I am more than willing to work as hard as necessary to carry out my mother’s wish. I have been on the same page as my mother since birth.
The decision to slow the paste of developing the band by announcing scratching of the timeline was more on point than I knew. I am now beginning to feel the back pain and Sciatica. The shot I took a few weeks ago seems to have worn off. It’s interesting what adrenalin can do. The excitement of my job helped me work through the pain. When I settle-down at night, my back and leg throbs. The numbness and tingling is persistent, but I bare it to serve the children. I have an appointment with the neurologist on Friday. We’ll see what he says.
At band rehearsal this week, a woman stood at my door for about fifteen minutes. One of my nephews stuck his head in the door for the woman and was amazed at what he saw. He didn’t say anything at the time, but later he said he saw “Shades of St. Augustine.”
The woman was a former student of mine. Tara Domino had come to band practice to tell me her son was a third grader and is in the band. She told me his name and I said I was glad she visited with me and told me about her son. The next day, I met—her son—Brett. He was an unusually bright child, but when he auditioned, I could immediately observe his talent on the drums. Brett’s mother said when he’d listen to the commercial about the school-he’d constantly ask her if he could come to Batiste Academy.
She was the third parent and forth former student I’d seen at Batiste Academy in less than two months, and students are telling me their parents and grandparents know me and my family. After a long career in teaching, it’s expected. Nonetheless, it’s appreciated and honored by me. God has blessed me to have had a long serving relationship with the New Orleans Region’s people.
Now, I’m sure I made the right decision to not retire and continue to serve the citizens of New Orleans. Similarly, it’s a continuation of my teaching experience. As well, I reach another 200 children this year and help keep them off the streets. The only street they’ll see will be for marching on them, and playing music. I pray for the patience to guide these children safely in my endeavor to educate them.
At last, the oil well has been capped. Finally, we can relax. After months of being terrorized by the fear of oil going right up to our door step, I now believe the oil has been shut down, but the quiet climax leaves room for questions still. How much damage has been done and are their health consequences? Could it be that the same slow disaster that brought the well on is continuing in another way?
Meanwhile, the marching band is getting much attention. We were asked to participate in a battle of the bands with Wright. The person who invited us didn’t know I started the band at Wright. Now, I was being asked to compete against the band I started. I explained to the band members it takes more than a month or two to put a band together, and by November we will be done putting our band together.
I like the spirit of the band to want to be up and running before it’s done, but we truly have an opportunity to do this the right way. Rushing the development of the band would cripple students for life. They would think, “Easy” is the way things are done. Easy is not simple. If one thinks its easy, one is misled. My students and parents have to resist the urge to come out and perform in public, too soon. Similarly, I pray for the wisdom to know when it is time.
The band is in a pre-band level. This level is lacking tradition. I am installing a foundation. Students have a tendency to be impatient. This level requires discipline and dedication. It’s easy to be satisfied with small successes when previously there was no program at all. Well, everybody is excited, but they don’t know what difficulties exist ahead of us.
I have been fortunate to have help from Coach, Ms. Jones and others from my past teaching experience, but now, I am all by myself. I am the only experienced person in the band room. However, the assistance they gave was invaluable. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. With the start I have, hundreds of students will benefit from their help, and students will gain for years to come.
Today, I spoke to the neurosurgeon and he said since the pain has returned, he has to give me another shot. This time, instead of shooting me in the nerve, he’ll shoot me in the joint for greater relief.
Young people should know, entertainment or education is a difficult career to pursue, but if you are dedicated, honest and hard working, it can give one access to the gift of music and a livelihood.
It’s all good; I’m excited about receiving the trademarks for the Batiste Brand. I now own the trade names Batiste Brothers Band®, The Batiste Family®, Batiste Family International School® and Batiste Cultural Arts Academy®. I should be receiving the certificates in November or December.
Interest in the brand has gotten us this far and there’s growing interest every day. My next major product will be this book.
In addition, I’ll do projects like concerts, workshops and festivals. My plan is to produce these events with the money I make teaching. The concerts will be at local night clubs. The workshops will be at the Batiste Academy and the festivals will be at Batiste.
The idea is to jump start these areas that have in recent years declined. By investing my own money, I hope to employ friends, family and the underserved community.
Meanwhile, the excitement is growing at BCAA. The marching band was invited to play at Dillard University’s Homecoming Parade. However, I didn’t think we were ready to march in a parade. Also, we will be playing for awards day at BCAA and City Year invited us to play for their volunteer reception.
The band is coming along fine. We have much work to do. So far, it has been worth it. I can see the same results I recently saw at Wright. Teachers are coming to me and asking me to help with the discipline problems and I have spoken to several students on behalf of teachers, and I hear compliments about the band everyday. People are saying the band is changing the culture of the whole school.
Some family members are saying they want to rally around my efforts at the school. I’m glad to hear they understand my personal sacrifice. At age 60, I can easily walk away from this and retire to a modest retirement salary and gigging. On the other hand, I have an opportunity to giveback and help hundreds of kids and my family at the same time.
Amazingly—in just a few short months—I have started a middle and elementary school band. The middle school is made up of mostly 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Of the middle school, there are two that can read music. Roddney Pierre—an 8th grader—plays the sousaphone and previously had lessons. His skills are impressive, but his manner and attitude are even greater. Character could be his middle name.
Today—Orleans police officer—Lisa Augustine came to my class and I asked her to speak to my students. She is the security for the school. Her background in law enforcement makes her a knowledgeable person. Her speech was great. Lisa talked about the parade and asked if any student ever saw a horse in the parade. The students answered, “yes.” Then, she made the analogy of horse droppings on the parade route that people try to avoid, but she said some of your friends are making droppings and you are stepping in it.
All of these people are taking part in a history making event. Everyone notices the impact the band is having on children. We are working with two schools and students from Sci-Tech are trying hard to get to Batiste Academy. I am working as hard as I can to facilitate the schools. I am now working on a plan to get 3-5 grade enrolled in the band from Sci-Tech. I am going to send a survey to find out how many musicians have prior experience in music.
This weekend, I cooked breakfast for my Dad. He said it was God sent. He said he was thinking about me this morning and when I walked in the house he thought it was one of his dreams. He said, “Paul, I dream a lot.”
Batiste Cultural Arts Academy
On yesterday, we played for the first Awards Day program. Students loved it. They showed it with a rousing round of applause, and one of the teachers complimented me on how the students had only recently been introduced to instruments and are already performing well. After thanking her for the comment, I thought to myself it’s nothing new. People look at students who they often see behaving in an unbecoming way in their class, but behave well on stage. They see a complete turnaround in their behavior once they join band, and in this particular case, it happened in two months.
The book is the story of my life-destined to serve
You are the reason and rhyme
If you are an aspiring teacher, band director, band leader, classroom music teacher, special education teacher, professional guitarist, flutist, composer, arranger, independent record producer, record promoter, promoter, independent record label, sequence programmer, home studio engineer, song writer, bookng agent, photographer or a novice, you should read this book. I’m not all of those things, but I have seen them. Over a period of decades, I’ve experienced some things that may help someone. I am a teacher and band leader. I have developed skills which combine methods and techniques to conform to today’s advanced students.
As a band director, I have started music programs from elementary school to high school. In addition, I have routinely started band programs from scratch. Also, I have partnered with a charter school and applied for a charter school.
Having taught my first class in 1978, I witnessed the evolution of education in New Orleans and the United States. Conversely, I’ve seen some great traditions in education disappear. This book gives one a great insight on where education is now and where it is headed.
As a band leader, I have managed the Batiste Brothers Band® for decades and we have performed nationally and internationally. However, we are a local band. I have spent most of my performing career in Louisiana.
Another disappearing great set of values are described and examined is the American Musical Family. In this book we will explore value systems and the pros and cons of having a musical family.
Finally, gain from the many challenges of the life of a well traveled and coveted career veteran of innovation and creativity. Read this book and learn the nuances and the ins and outs of education and show business. It dawned on me as I was completing the book, I realized it is a good way for me to re-visit my wonderful life-a calling
Content copyright . Paul Batiste. All rights reserved.