Jon Batiste Steps Down As ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Bandleader

Louis Cato will now lead The Late Show Band.

By Scott Bernstein Aug 12, 2022 7:52 am PDT

Jon Batiste has exited from his role leading the house band on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. The Grammy-winning musician leaves after seven years “to pursue personal and professional interests” as per a statement from CBS.

Batiste hasn’t appeared on the late night talk show for most of the summer with St. Vincent, James Taylor and Joe Walsh each performing with Colbert house band known until last night as Stay Human in recent weeks. Multi-instrumentalist will replace Jon Batiste as the leader of the program’s band. Cato has served as bandleader while Batiste has been away and has been tapped to fill the role permanently. Stay Human will now be called The Late Show Band.

Host Stephen Colbert addressed the news during Thursday’s episode of The Late Show. “We have been so lucky to have a front row seat to Jon’s incredible talent for the past seven years. And will we miss him here? ‘Yeaaah!’” Colbert exclaimed. “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.”

Stephen Colbert then revealed the house band besides Batiste will stay intact and announced Cato’s promotion. “If you’ve been watching, and I hope you have, you know that Louis has done a great job this summer and he’s very humble so he won’t say this but I will, he’s a musical genius,” the host said. “He can basically play every instrument on that stand over there. Give him an afternoon, he’ll learn how to play Mozart on a shoehorn.”

See Stephen Colbert speak with Joe Walsh and introduce Louis Cato and The Late Show Band:

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