Jon Batiste Talks First Holiday Album; Premieres 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen': Exclusive

Billboard

Jon Batiste, the ever-busy Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader and artist, is currently focusing his musical aim on his first holiday album, Christmas with Jon Batiste. The set will begin streaming exclusively via Amazon Music on Nov. 18.

In the meantime, Batiste is giving fans a flavorful taste of what's to come with a jazz-inspired reinterpretation of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" featuring Judith Hill, exclusively premiering on Billboard.

"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is one of several holiday perennials - including "Joy to the World" and "Winter Wonderland" - comprising Christmas with Jon Batiste. Rounding out the 12-track set are several original compositions along with additional guest performances by Aloe Blacc, Jason Marsalis and acclaimed violinist Lee England Jr.

"Having grown up in New Orleans, our Christmas music has always had a lot of originality, so composing a few of my own tracks and re-imagining the classics was a sentimental process," says Batiste. "For years I've imagined recording Christmas classics with a new flavor and my friend Judith Hill was one of the first collaborators to come to mind due to my initial reaction to her voice."

Crafting a Christmas album has always been a dream of Batiste's, he says, "and having some of my closest collaborators and best friends on board to help me craft it makes this musical offering that much more special. This album is from my heart. May it move you."

Christmas with Jon Batiste is now available for pre-order exclusively through Amazon Music. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is also available today: pre-orders of the digital album will automatically include a download of the single.

Listen to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" below.