Why Is Jon Batiste Leaving 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert'?

After seven seasons of performing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert almost every weeknight night, Jon Batiste is officially leaving the much-loved talk show.

The Oscar and Grammy-winning artist joined The Late Show when Colbert took over from David Letterman in 2015. Ever since, Batiste and his band have been entertaining the studio audience and viewers at home.

Batiste's exit may not come as a big surprise to some viewers, considering he has been absent all summer, but now his departure has officially been confirmed.

Why is Jon Batiste leaving The Late Show With Stephen Colbert? Newsweek has everything you need to know.

Why Is Jon Batiste Leaving The Late Show With Stephen Colbert?

Jon Batiste
Jon Batiste performs during the Grammy Museum's A New York Evening with Jon Batiste at Library for Performing Arts at Lincoln Center on June 17, 2022 in New York City. John Lamparski/Getty Images

Jon Batiste is leaving The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to "pursue personal and professional interests," reports Variety.

The news of Batiste's departure was announced during Thursday's (August 11) show, with host Colbert delivering the news.

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

He continued: "We've been so lucky to have a front row seat to Jon's incredible talent for the past seven years. And will we miss him here? 'Yeaaa!' 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."

In recent years, Batiste's music career has been going from strength to strength. In 2020 he won an Oscar for Best Original Score for the Disney animated movie, Soul.

He also won five Grammy's this year, including Album of the Year for his album, We Are. Batiste was also the most nominated artist at the awards ceremony.

Who Is Replacing Jon Batiste on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert?

A Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter Louis Cato will be taking over from Jon Batiste as the band leader on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Moments after Colbert revealed Batiste's departure, he revealed Cato would be stepping up to the role.

Colbert said: "Louis has done a great job this summer, 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 on that stand over there. Give him an afternoon, he'll learn how to play Mozart on a shoehorn."

Cato is no stranger to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Over the summer, he served as the show's interim band leader in Batiste's absence.

With the move, Colbert's band will change its name from Stay Human to The Late Show Band.

Cato's first show as the bandleader will be on Tuesday, September 6, when the show returns for its eighth season.

He will play alongside Joe Saylor, Louis Fouché, Jon Lampley, Endea Owens, and Nêgah Santos.

Speaking to Variety about the exciting promotion, Cato said: "It has been one of the great honors of my life to work on this show, alongside some of the most talented musicians and creatives I know.

"Watching and learning from both Jon and Stephen for these past seven years, I'm genuinely excited to continue the tradition of excellence they've established."

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS.