After seven seasons, Jon Batiste is stepping down as The Late Show’s bandleader, Stephen Colbert announced on-air Thursday (August 11).
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“We've been so lucky to have a front row seat to Jon's incredible talent for the past seven years,” Colbert said. “But we're happy for you, Jon, and I can't wait to have you back on as a guest with your next hit record.” According to a press release, Batiste is leaving the show to pursue personal and professional interests. Previously, he co-composed the score for Disney Pixar’s Soul for which he received an Oscar, Golden Globe, GRAMMY and a BAFTA Film Award. Most recently, the acclaimed musician won four GRAMMYs including Album of the Year for his eight studio album We Are.
Louis Cato, who has served as interim bandleader this summer, will take over Batiste's former role permanently. Cato is GRAMMY-nominated multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter. Formerly, he has worked with Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Talib Kweli, and more. “Louis has done a great job this summer, and he is very humble, so he won't say this. But I will. He's a musical genius. He can play basically every instrument over there...” Colbert stated.
Cato expressed, “It has been one of the great honors of my life to work on this show, alongside some of the most talented musicians and creatives I know. Watching and learning from both Jon and Stephen for these past seven years, I’m genuinely excited to continue the tradition of excellence they’ve established.” Also, the show’s house band Stay Human, will be renamed The Late Show Band. Cato will continually join band members Joe Saylor, Louis Fouché, Jon Lampley, Endea Owens and Nêgah Santos.
The Late Show returns for Season 8 on Tuesday, September 6. The series airs weeknights at 11:35 PM on CBS.