Channel 3 goes behind-the-scenes with band leader of Late Show w - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Channel 3 goes behind-the-scenes with band leader of Late Show with Stephen Colbert

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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is the new king of late night and Eyewitness News took backstage at the number-one show.

Jon Batiste is the leader of the band for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  Batiste took Eyewitness News behind-the-scenes at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.

Batiste also discussed the wild ride on a show that dominates the ratings almost two years after David Letterman and Paul Shaffer said goodbye.

"It's an honor to even be on stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater, let alone coming after those guys," Batiste said. 

Batiste said he talked to Shaffer and Letterman about the move. 

"I talked to everybody and Paul was one of the first people I spoke to about this and David of course,” Batiste said. “David Letterman, being the legend that he is, has set so many things in motion that are the standard today. We're obviously walking in those guys’ footsteps."

Batiste said the Late Show with Stephen Colbert is "ecstatic." 

"It's like a firecracker, every time we go out there, there's so much energy," Batiste said. "Stephen is coming out, the monologue, bang, bang, bang! The band is playing, bang, the audience is screaming, bang. It's just like a firecracker out there and I love it because every day is like a fresh burst of energy."

Batiste grew-up in a musical family from New Orleans and at 30-years-old, he's being honored by the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City with the 2017 lifetime achievement award.  

"Well, I told, when I got the invitation, I told my team, I'm not ready," Batiste said. "I don't think, for a lifetime achievement award, but then they started to tell me all the things that have happened over the years and sometimes you forget how much stuff you've actually done."

Batiste said he's always on the go, always trying to advance the culture and music. 

"It's kind of surreal and I think what would I say to my high school self,” Batiste said.

As for what's next, Batiste said he will follow the music. 

"It's all just surreal to me because I just love to play,” Batiste said. "So I just try to keep it in that place where I'm playing for the love of it and everything that happens is just a gift."

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