CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - On Friday, Spoleto Festival USA kicked off the first day of the downtown Charleston event.
One of the event's headlining artists is international jazz musician Jon Batiste.
The New Orleans native, who serves as the band leader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, said Charleston feels just like home.
"This is my first time in Charleston, can you believe that?" Batiste said. "This is actually what I'm doing to relax. Playing the piano for a bunch of beautiful people in a place like this. I mean, I'm relaxing."
He said he's thrilled to be performing Friday and Saturday night in downtown Charleston for the festival.
"The festival has so many artists that are the highest in their art form," he said."I really love the culture and having it continue in the lineage of everything America contributes to the world represented right here in Charleston. It's beautiful."
One person excited to see the talented artist is Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg.
"He's just so vibrant and alive and so much fun. He's also very spiritually rooted, as well. I'm really looking forward to his performance," Tecklenburg said. "I'm a big fan of his, I have tickets for tomorrow night."
He said his two performances are vastly different.
"They're an 11-piece band backing me with that fire, background singers, horn section, rhythm section, drummers. Tonight I'm just going to be zeroing in on my piano, it will be intimate. You'll get the best of both worlds," Batiste said Friday before his show.