Jon Batiste’s Debut as Bandleader for The Late Show

Photo Cred: CBS Studios

Photo Cred: CBS Studios

On January 17, 2014, months before first appearing on the Stephen Colbert Show, jazz musician Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human, took the Folly Theater stage to perform for their first time together in Kansas City. With his New Orleans style of jazz, and his fingers dancing on the piano, Gale Tallis, executive director of Folly Theater, remembers his performance. “He played the piano of course, and also an instrument called the melodica, where he gave off such a cool and vibrant energy. But he was also very warm, and he was all about sharing that love with the audience,” she says.

And share love with the audience he did. In true Jon Batiste fashion, he and his band took off from the stage and entered the aisles of the Folly Theater to perform throughout the house and between rows of fans. Gale Tallis recalls being surprised by the extension of the stage. “As he entered into the aisles, the fans embraced him and he was mobbed, and everyone thought that it was the end of the show. Afterwards, Batiste shared with me that he had two more songs to perform. I told him he should have warned someone!” So in essence, Jon Batiste and Stay Human brought down the house that night.

Jon Batiste will debut September 8th on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as the Late Show bandleader. CBS touts him as “an active member of the legendary Batiste family of musicians, hailing from cradle of New Orleans Jazz: New Orleans, The Jazz Easy. He is Julliard-trained, street-tested, and honey-baked, to seal in his juices.”

We will be tuning in to celebrate this momentous career achievement for our beloved Jon Batiste.