Jon Batiste Departs From ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ As Bandleader

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Grammy-winning Jon Batiste will be exiting The Late Show With Stephen Colbert after his seven-season run as the bandleader. The show’s host announced the news on Thursday night’s (Aug. 11) episode. 

“Jon has decided to leave the show,” revealed Colbert. “But it’s for all the best reasons, including to continue sharing his art with the world.”

Colbert then informed his audience that musician Louis Cato—who currently fills in for the “booked and busy” Batiste—will take over the role permanently. Colbert went on to introduce the audience to the newly formed “Louis Cato and the Late Show Band.” The host also made sure to explain Batiste’s absence and wish him luck in his future endeavors.

“We have been so lucky to have a front row seat to Jon’s incredible talent for the past seven years,” Colbert expressed. “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 wasn’t present during the episode for a proper send-off. However, he took to Twitter to simply tweet, “Thank God for Stephen Colbert” with a heart emoji on Friday (Aug. 11).

Earlier this year, the 35-year-old musician snagged a few Grammys. He earned five nominations, including Album of the Year for 2021’s We Are. Batiste also won an Oscar and Grammy for his efforts on 2020’s Pixar film Soul, which he co-composed. Aside from performing many shows across the nation, Batiste was recently named an icon in TIME‘s 2022 list of “100 Most Influential People in The World.”

Take a look at Colbert’s announcement of Jon Batiste’s exit below.

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