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Max Weinberg Leaves Conan; Jimmy Vivino New Bandleader

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STEPPING DOWN FROM THE DRUM STOOL AFTER 17 YEARS

Max Weinberg has confirmed that he will not be joining Conan O'Brien when Conan debuts on November 8.

Says O'brien, “Max has been a huge part of my life for the past 17 years and he is an incredible band leader and musician. I hope he can find time to stop by the new show, sit in with the band, and pretend to find my monologue funny.

A statement from Weinberg reads, “17 years—a lifetime on TV. Conan and I met on a New York City street corner in the Spring of 1993 and my association with Conan, his staff, and crew has been a deeply rewarding experience for me. And, making music with Jimmy Vivino, Mark Pender, La Bamba, Jerry Vivino, Scott Healey, Mike Merritt, and percussionist James Wormsworth enabled me to become a better musician and bandleader. I thank them for their first rate work on the bandstand. I wish Conan and his show the best and I do look forward to dropping by.

Guitarist Jimmy Vivino confirmed in an interview with The Riverfront Times of St. Louis that he would be replacing Weinberg as bandleader. Said Vivino, “'ll be leading the band, and James Wormworth will be playing drums now. He played half of The Tonight Shows and a good quarter of the Late Night shows."

Regarding Weinberg's future plans, Vivino said, “Max has his big band out there that has been his dream all his life, kind of a Buddy Rich band. And there's a kid in Jersey that works with him occasionally. A singer-songwriter! [Laughs] Some guy that's got some hope over there!"


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