Stephen Colbert Picks Jon Batiste as "Late Show" Bandleader


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The National Jazz Museum in Harlem's Artistic Director-at Large, Jon Batiste, has been announced as the bandleader for CBS' “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

All of us at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem send congratulations to our Artistic Director at Large Jon Batiste on becoming musical director for the new Stephen Colbert Show. It's so good to know that a musician of such impeccable talent will have a platform like this to bring great music to millions of people around the world.

We treasure the family feeling we inculcate at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, from our members and visitors right through our staff and board. Jon Batiste came to the museum through precisely such connections. NJMH Artistic Directors Christian McBride and Loren Schoenberg ran a workshop for young jazz musicians in Aspen for many years, and as soon as they heard Jon play there (he was still going to high school in his native New Orleans) it became very clear that he had great potential. After Jon moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School, he began to expand his artistry and virtuosity.

And beyond that, he involved himself in charitable educational activities, and shortly thereafter was invited to participate in a number of NJMH programs. His first album was recorded as part of the NJMH's Harlem in the Himalaya series. It only seemed natural that Jon should host a program of his own, which led to one of the museum's most successful projects, Jazz Is:Now! After Jon graduated from Juilliard, he was appointed Artistic Director at Large, and has taken the museum's mission to international audiences, as well as at museum programs at Stanford University, Brigham Young University and in Cuba. Jon has also played a major role in defining the museum's artistic vision, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with one of the world's greatest musicians.

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