Jon Batiste: accomplished musician, international performer, betsy & iya fan. Yes, that last part is true; the bronze bar necklace Jon Batiste wears so often, including in the Chase commercial below, is our Jalisco necklace.
This man you might only recognize from his role as bandleader on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert has already had an extremely impressive career, with no signs of slowing down. Raised near New Orleans, Batiste credits his upbringing for surrounding him with ryhtmn and blues from a very early age. After attending The Juilliard School, he formed his own band Stay Human and started performing all over the world. He became the leader of the Late Show band in 2015 at just 28 years old. But music isn't where Batiste's talents end; he's also the Artistic Director at large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and has even tackled acting roles. A quick Google Image search of Batiste reveals that the man has Swag with a capital S: tailored suits, mixing patterns, and a fondness for accessories (hats, pocket kerchiefs, and of course, jewelry) are all style components Batiste embraces with fervor. The fact that he chose the Jalisco as one of the pieces in his regular rotation? Yeah, we take that as a huge compliment. When Betsy started betsy & iya in 2008, she dreamed of making jewelry that would someday adorn people far away from her tiny Portland, OR studio. The strength of her designs coupled with her drive to succeed propelled b&i jewelry into the world at a rapid rate, and soon her dreams came true. Today, we see our jewelry all over the country and on all types of people via Instagram photos, encounters with fellow travelers (read about my experiences here), and even on the occasional episode of Grimm. Finding out that a man as multitalented as Mr. Batiste owns a betsy & iya necklace took us all back to the giddy excitement of Betsy's early days dreaming of our jewelry reaching people all over the place. I remember huddling around Will's computer studying a clip we found of Batiste in the necklace and trying to decipher the color in the painted notches to confirm that it is in fact Betsy's design. We later found out that he bought his Jalisco from one of our beloved stockists, Red Arrow Workshop, in Louisiana. All of Batiste's talents are extremely impressive, but our favorite thing about him is his dedication to creating space for "social music," his term for when music brings strangers together through the power of shared experience. To Batiste, music isn't something that simply goes in one ear and out the other. Rather, he so strongly believes that music is a tool for human connection, a way to understand each other without words, to collaborate through sound and movement. Seeing Mr. Batiste in his betsy & iya necklace has been so awesome for us. You're an inspiring, motivational force and you wear betsy & iya so well. Thank you for that. xo Anna Note: I gathered all the info used in this post via jonbatiste.com