Academy and Grammy Award-winning artist Jon Batiste is leaving “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” after seven seasons, Colbert announced Thursday night on the show. He’s exiting to “pursue personal and professional interests.” Louis Cato, who has served as interim bandleader this summer, will take over on a permanent basis — and the Colbert’s band, which previously had been called “Stay Human” under Batiste’s direction, will be renamed “The Late Show Band.”
Cato will take over permanently when the show returns for its eighth season on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
“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,” Colbert said. “He can play basically every instrument over there. Give him an afternoon, he’ll learn how to play Mozart on a shoehorn.”
Cato, has been with “The Late Show” since its relaunch under Colbert. The revised band will be include Joe Saylor, who has performed alongside Louis since the show’s inception, and longtime house band members Louis Fouché, Jon Lampley, Endea Owens and Nêgah Santos.
“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,” said Cato. “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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SOURCE: Variety, Michael Schneider