On Thursday, Stephen Colbert announced the new bandleader forThe Late Show, Jon Batiste. And though Batiste might not be a household name (yet), there's no doubt he has the talent and charisma to become one of late night's most-beloved personalities. Here's why:
He's part of a legacy: Batiste comes from a big family of Louisiana musicians. In fact, the 28-year-old got his start playing music at age 8 when he joined his family's band, the Batiste Brothers Band, on percussion. However, when he was 11, he switched his focus to piano. But that's not all Batiste plays. The man also can somehow make the melodic look cool. If that's not talent, we don't know what is.
His resume isinsane:Though Batiste hasn't even hit 30, he's already released four albums, three EPs and performed in more than 40 countries, including at the famous Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Carnegie Hall. Artists he's performed alongside include Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Jimmy Buffet, Harry Connick Jr. and many, many more. In 2012, he was also appointed as the associate artistic director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and was listed as one of the most influential people under 30 by ARTINFO. Cue the jealousy sweats.
He knows how to put on a great show:Shortly after graduating from Julliard, Batiste formed Stay Human with a few other alums. The modern jazz group, all of whom will join Batiste on The Late Show, are well-known for their lively performances, which are heavy on audience participation. They call their style of performance "social music," and one of their aims is to promote greater accessibility for and appreciation of live music.
Watch Stay Human's epic 2014 performance on The Colbert Report below to get a sense of what they're all about.
He's no one-trick pony:Batiste is not only an accomplished musician, but also a pretty good actor. Fans of Treme will recognize from Seasons 2 and 3, in which he played himself. (And yes, Wendell Pierce's character on the show, Antoine Batiste, is based on one of the musician's real family members.) He also appeared as T.K. Hazelton in Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer, for which he composed and performed all of the Hammond B-3 organ music score.
Watch Colbert and Batiste share the good Late Show news below:
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