Jon Batiste Steps Down as ‘Late Show’ Bandleader

The award-winning musician is moving on to new projects.

The award-winning musician is moving on to new projects.

For the past seven years, award-winning musician, composer, and pianist Jon Batiste has worked as the bandleader of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, alongside his ongoing musical projects. Batiste has been a regular fixture of the show, frequently offering musical riffs on Colbert’s jokes and playing in his various guests.

This week, however, it was announced that Batiste, who has been absent from the show for a while, is officially relinquishing his role as bandleader to Louis Cato, who had been holding the role in the interim. During last night’s show, Colbert offered some parting words to his longtime coworker and dear friend.

“We’ve been so lucky to have a front row seat to Jon’s incredible talent for the past seven years,” Colbert said on the show. “And will we miss him here? ‘Yeaaa!’ But we’re happy for you, Jon, and I can’t wait to have you back on as guest with your next hit record.”

“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,” Cato said in a press statement following the announcement. “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.”

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