Nightly talk shows are entertaining in many ways, from making us laugh, to informing us, they are a great way to break from our everyday life and a chance to unwind. On top of various guests that appear on the shows, the host is accompanied by a stellar house band that provides music for the intro and outro, serves as backing bands for guest musicians, and helps wherever they are needed. Over the years, there have been some amazing house bands throughout the years on programs like the Late Show, the Tonight Show, and a plethora of other shows. Joe Bonamassa’s drummer Anton Fig for example was a part of the Paul Schaffer-led band for 29 years, backing the David Letterman show.
Besides the Roots backing Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, the other all-star band in the late-night biz is Jon Batiste and Stay Human. Jon Baptiste is a highly trained and skilled keyboardist and pianist who began playing at 11 after being born into a highly musical family.
He grew up in Louisiana and went to a performing arts high school in New Orleans and even graduated with fellow musician Trombone Shorty. By 17 he had already released his debut album by the time he was in Julliard. While at school, Baptiste, being extroverted, instantly connected with other musicians and formed the band Stay Human, a jazz and R&B group featuring a horn section that is stylized after the sounds heard in New Orleans.
In 2014, Baptiste and the band were invited to perform on Stephen Colbert’s Colbert Report. Stephen and his producers liked them so much that they invited them to be the house band on the upcoming show The Late Show
With Stephen Colbert. Since 2015, Baptiste and Stay Human have provided musical backup for a myriad of guests like Wynton Marsalis and Billy Joel and are a sustain part of the show in general.
At only 31 years old, Jon Baptiste has an impressive resume, serving at the Music Director of the Atlantic, an online publication and media group, and is the Creative Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.