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Jon Batiste, who had a huge presence in Newport, RI this summer, will make his debut as the CBS Late Show bandleader tonight at 11:35 p.m.
Batiste and his band Stay Human became the the first group to play at Fort Adams State Park for both the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals in the same year when they performed at four Newport Festivals Foundation concerts in a week.
Making history in Newport is just one more accomplishment in a series of larger than life moves for the 28-year-old New Orleans-bred, New York-based Juilliard graduate (MA) with a flair for fashion and the ability to make jazz music accessible to all ages.
In June, he and the band finished a seven-night sold out run in New York City. Earlier that month CBS named Batiste as the bandleader for the highly anticipated Late Show when Stephen Colbert takes over for David Letterman on September 8. Batiste has already proven himself as an actor in the New Orleans based HBO series Treme as well as in Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer. The piano, bass and melodica-playing Batiste has also released half a dozen CDs and EPs starting when was just 17 years old.
As a musician, Batiste has toured the world performing in more than 40 countries, but he is also a music educator. As the Artistic Director at Large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, he programs educational workshops. In Newport last year, he hosted two workshops for local elementary and high school students and he’s an Ambassador for Music Unites.