Jon Batiste and Mavis Staples were among the honourees at the Gordon Parks Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, 6 June, 2017 at Ciprani 42nd Street in New York City.
The evening featured a guest list of musicians, celebrities, artists and politicians who come together, not only to celebrate the legacy of Gordon Parks, but also to honour those who continue to strive to make an impact in the world of performing and visual arts, and humanitarianism.
Speaking at the event, Stephen Colbert said “Well, good evening. I’m so happy to be here tonight to be talking about a man who makes my show special every night … and for once, I am not talking about Donald Trump!” Before going on to talk about the ‘Late Show’ bandleader Jon Batiste, who “led my entire [Colbert Report] audience onto 53rd Street for a New Orleans-style musical parade that he calls a ‘love riot’ and police call a ‘funky gridlock.'” It is Jon’s belief that we “we can definitely use the arts in this ‘very tumultuous time'”.