Eastern New Orleans musician and producer Jamal Batiste is making his movie debut in the biographical drama, “Get On Up,” about the life of the godfather of soul James Brown.

In the movie, Batiste plays drummer John “Jabo” Starks. A member of New Orleans’ Batiste family, Jamal began playing drums at the age of 3. He continued his studies of music at the University of New Orleans where he earned a degree in jazz studies.

When Batiste’s father, David, told him about auditions for the movie, he said he decided to attend “just to see what would happen,” he said. After the first audition, Jamal was called back for another audition in Natchez, Miss. where he was asked to druma James Brown song. After several callbacks and rehearsals with other musicians, directed by Chadwick Boseman who plays James Brown, he won the part of Starks.
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