Stephen Colbert Announces Jon Batiste Is Leaving “The Late Show” After 7 Seasons
After seven seasons as the bandleader of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Jon Batiste is stepping down. Colbert announced the musician’s departure on Aug. 11.
“Sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed that Jon hasn’t been here this summer,” the host said during the show, addressing the fact that Batiste has been absent most of the summer. “Well, I have an update. Jon has decided to leave the show, but it’s for all the best reasons including to continue sharing his art with the world.” Colbert added, “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? Yeah! 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. I love you.”
Batiste will be replaced by Louis Cato, currently the guitarist in the house band. Cato has played on the show with Batiste since the show began. “It has been one of the great honours of my life to work on this show, alongside some of the most talented musicians and creatives I know,” Cato said via a CBS press release. “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.”
During Batiste’s tenure on the show, he’s released his own music to great success, touring around the globe with his band, Stay Human, and winning the Grammy for album of the year in 2022 for his eighth studio album, “We Are.” He has also worked with Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and John Legend and is currently working on a new album, per ABC.
Batiste seemed to respond to Colbert’s kind words in an Aug. 12 tweet. “Thank God for Stephen Colbert,” he tweeted alongside a heart emoji.