Suleika Jaouad & Jon Batiste

Acclaimed artists Suleika Jaouad (writer) & Jon Batiste (musician)

Suleika Jaouad & Jon Batiste

Sold Out

Suleika Jaouad & Jon Batiste

February 15, 2024 at 6PM

Location: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

Celebrated artists and life partners, writer Suleika Jaouad and musician Jon Batiste gave the world an intimate look into their life in the recent 2023 Netflix documentary American Symphony which has been hailed as “a moving ode to love, creativity, and the art of survival” (Rolling Stone). Chronicling the year that Batiste was nominated for 11 Grammy awards and Jaouad’s leukemia returned after almost a decade of remission, the two artists never stop creating as they move through extraordinary tribulations and triumphs together.

Their Phil Lind Initiative talk will offer a wide-ranging exploration of art and creative expression as an act of survival and connection—be that the meaningful connection that author Jaouad forged with Quintin Jones, an inmate looking for clemency who was ultimately executed in 2021, or the foundational philosophy behind Batiste’s latest album World Music Radio, which challenges the borders we draw between musical genres, artistic disciplines, and communities of people themselves.

Suleika Jaouad is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, bestselling author (Between Two Kingdoms) and celebrated TED speaker who has shared her odyssey of healing and self-discovery battling leukemia. Born in New York City, Jaouad earned her BA from Princeton University and an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College.

“Not only can Jaouad tolerate the unbearable feelings, she can reshape them into poetry…. Her writing restores the moon, lights the way as we learn to endure the unknown.” —The New York Times

Jon Batiste is a five-time Grammy Award-winning and Academy Award-winning singer, songwriter and composer. From 2015-2022, he served as the bandleader and musical director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Born and raised in New Orleans, Batiste studied and received both a B.A. and M.F.A. at the world-renowned Juilliard School in New York City.

“a sprawling exploration of what global music can sound like… Batiste finds his center through deep grooves and a powerful sense of community.” – NPR (praise for World Music Radio)


The Phil Lind Initiative is presented by UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs in partnership with the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Special thanks to East India Carpet.


Tickets for the in-person event available starting Thursday January 11 at 12PM. FREE while quantities last (max 2 per order). This event will not be livestreamed. 

View: Pop Politics: Pop Culture and Political Life in the United States