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Jon Batiste leaves 'Late Show' after 7 seasons as bandleader

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Jon Batiste has exited "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and will be replaced by Louis Cato. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/cb657a049d7b089e80fa2465624be701/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Jon Batiste has exited "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and will be replaced by Louis Cato. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Jon Batiste is leaving The Late Show with Stephen Colbert after seven seasons as bandleader.

Host Stephen Colbert announced Batiste's exit during Thursday's episode of the CBS late-night show.

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"Sharp-eyed viewers may have noticed that Jon hasn't been here this summer," Colbert said. "Jon has decided to leave the show ... But it's for all the best reasons, including to continue to share his art with the world."

"We've been so lucky to have a front-row seat to Jon's incredible talent for the last seven years," he added. "Will we miss him here? 'Yeah!' But we're happy for you, Jon, and I can't wait to have you on as a guest with your next hit record."

Colbert then announced that interim bandleader Louis Cato will replace Batiste as bandleader. The Late Show band will be renamed from Stay Human to The Late Show Band.

"Louis has done a great job this summer," Colbert said. "And he is very humble, so he won't say this, but I will: He's a musical genius. He can play basically every instrument over there. Give him an afternoon, he'll learn how to play Mozart on a shoehorn."

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Cato will be joined by Joe Saylor and longtime house band members Louis Fouché, Jon Lampley, Endea Owens and Nêgah Santos. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Season 8 will premiere Sept. 6.

Batiste is a singer, songwriter, musician and television personality who released his eighth studio album, We Are, in March 2021. The album won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards in April.

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