Who Is Jon Batiste? Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' Band Leader Sounds Like The Perfect Choice
It's only been a few weeks since David Letterman hung up his jacket on The Late Show after 22 years, but as they say in show business, the show must go on. Since last year's announcement that Stephen Colbert would be taking over Letterman's coveted seat, fans have been anxious to know how Colbert's style will fit into the network talk show. Music has always been a huge part of the program, and on Thursday it was announced that Louisiana-born musician Jon Batiste will be The Late Show's new band leader.
Along with losing Letterman, you cannot ignore the fact that his band leader of over 30 years, Paul Shaffer, will be just as missed from the show as the host. But Colbert's getting his own guy to take on the job. The former Colbert Report host shared the exciting news of the new band leader in his own hilarious way via a statement released on the Late Show website that reads, “We are thrilled that Jon Batiste is joining The Late Show family of products. For my money, nobody plays like Jon Batiste. And you can trust me, because it is my money.”
So, who is Jon Batiste? I hadn't heard of this talented man before, but after reading about his impressive accomplishments, I have a feeling he's is going to be an awesome breath of fresh air on The Late Show for years to come.
He Has Been Making Music For A Long Time
He Appeared On The Colbert Report
Obviously, Colbert was a a fan already. The Colbert Report invited Jon Batiste and his band, Stay Human, on the show to perform their song "Express Yourself" in 2014.
He Is Passionate About Sharing His Love Of Music
After studying music at Julliard, the 28-year-old moved to New York City and has since been involved in many programs there. He is the Artistic Director at Large of The Jazz Museum in Harlem and calls himself a "traveling ambassador." He told Interview magazine of being a jazz educator, "I think education by young artists talking to young people, not just older people talking to young people, it gives an experience never felt before. I think over the years it will do a lot for the music."
His Musical Family Inspired A TV Series
The HBO series, Treme, took place in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Batiste shared his connection with the series with Interview, saying, "Yeah, it's actually New Orleans' largest musical family. The show Treme on HBO is based off of us... the characters are real people... Thinking about New Orleans culture, my family just ended up being a shoo-in for that kind of a depiction."
Colbert Has Been Courting Him For Some Time
According to Time, Colbert traveled to New Orleans to convince the musician to be his bandleader himself.
He Has Performed With Many Music Legends
Throughout his career, Batiste has already shared the stage with legends like Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Harry Connick, Jr., and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
He Is Known For His Energetic Stage Performances
Stay Human perform what they call "social music," bringing people on stage with them or simply playing music in the NYC streets. Batiste says on a Q&A on his website, “We call those moments love riots... because the energy is so kinetic and big. It’s people coming together who don’t know each other, and it’s so beautiful." Put this energy together with Stephen Colbert and I think this partnership has the chance to be GOLD.
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