Local drummer Jamal Batiste is set to make waves on the big screen as the legendary James Brown’s drummer John “Jabo” Starks in the James Brown biopic Get on Up.
The long awaited screen adaptation of the Godfather of Soul’s life story will premier on August 1, and Batiste is ready for his close up.
John “Jabo” Starks and Jamal Batiste.
As a member of the musical Batiste family, which has far too many members spread throughout the New Orleans music community to count, Jamal Batiste was already keeping himself busy with hisUnorthodox Drummer and Honorable Southprojects when he attended an open casting call at the Old U.S. Mint.
“My father got word about the auditions, and he really just passed the word on to me,” Batiste said. “I was kind of like thinking nothing of it, and I just went there kind of like to just see what would happen.”
Batiste’s interest was piqued when he was called back a few weeks later for a second audition, this time in Natchez, Mississippi, where he was asked to play a James Brown song on the drums.