Originally, the band was started by David and his band director, Mr. Anderson at Ralph J Bunch Village Jr. High, where David played bass drum in the machine band. David was also inspired by his father as well as Allen Toussaint who once came to his school and performed.
David Batiste and The Gladiators was started in 1962, as a talent show group in 1965. They grew into one of the top Funk Band groups in the nation playing with such stars as Jackie Wilson, ZZ Top, Percy Sledge, The Temptations, BB King and more! David performs with his very talented sons David Russell Batiste jr, Damon J Batiste Sr, Jamal Batiste, Ryan David Batiste!