Colbert made the announcement during Thursday night's episode of the show noting that after a summer hiatus, Batiste decided to officially leave the show.
“We’ve been so lucky to have a front row seat to Jon’s incredible talent for the past seven years," Colbert said. "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.”
Batiste and his band Stay Human performed on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report in 2014. When Colbert was chosen to host The Late Show, Batiste and Stay Human came onboard as the house band. As bandleader, Batiste cheered the comedian’s nightly monologue from the piano, appeared in segments and accompanied the musical guests.
Colbert also announced that Louis Cato will become the new bandleader. Cato, a Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist, has been filling in for Batiste throughout the summer. Colbert described Cato as a “musical genius.”
“He can play basically every instrument over there,” Colbert said. “Give him an afternoon, he’ll learn how to play Mozart on a shoehorn.”
"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," Cato said, per the release "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."
Cato has been a part of The Late Show band since its inception and will officially take over as bandleader on the premiere of the eighth season on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.