Jon Batiste is leaving The Late Show with Stephen Colbert after seven years.
The Grammy-winning musician announced that he will be departing from his role as bandleader for Stay Human, the show’s house band since it began airing in 2015.
Louis Cato, who has been filling in for Batiste throughout the summer, will take over the post permanently. The rest of the group will remain intact and continue as Louis Cato and the Late Show Band.
Colbert announced Batiste’s exit on Thursday night’s program, saying that he’s leaving “for all the best reasons, including to continue sharing his art with the world.”
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) August 12, 2022
Batiste’s career has taken off over the past year. The 35-year-old won several major awards including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and five Grammy Awards. Among those, his album We Are won the Grammy for album of the year.
Batiste was not available to appear on The Late Show for an in-person send-off, but Colbert said a touching goodbye.
“We have been so lucky to have a front-row seat to Jon’s incredible talent for the past seven years,” Colbert said. “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.”
As Batiste’s replacement, Cato assumes the role already armed with experience as a member of Stay Human. Born in Portugal and raised in North Carolina, he’s a bassist, guitarist, drummer, trombonist, tuba player, singer, songwriter and producer who has worked with a number of artists across multiple genres, including Snarky Puppy, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and John Legend.