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Who Is the New Bandleader on The Late Show ? All About Louis Cato

·4-min read
Louis Cato
Louis Cato


Introducing Stephen Colbert's new bandleader!

After his seven-season tenure as the musical frontman on The Late Show, Grammy winner Jon Batiste is passing the torch to multi-instrumentalist Louis Cato.

The musician is no stranger to the late-night scene, as he's been with the hit CBS show since its relaunch with Colbert in September 2015. Fast forward seven years later and Cato will step even further into the spotlight when the series returns on Sept. 6.

Prior to his permanent gig as The Late Show's musical frontman, Cato has served as the show's interim bandleader throughout the summer. Colbert announced the switch-up news on Aug. 11 — recognizing Cato for his work and praising his talents.

RELATED: Stephen Colbert Reveals Jon Batiste Is Leaving Show After 7 Seasons, Announces News Bandleader

"Louis has done a great job this summer, and he is very humble, so he won't say this. But I will. He's a musical genius," Colbert said. "He can play basically every instrument over there. Give him an afternoon, he'll learn how to play Mozart on a shoehorn."

The feelings are mutual for Cato, who said: "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."

From his acclaimed musical career to the Grammy-winning artists he's worked with, here's everything to know about multi-hyphenate Cato.

He will lead The Late Show band under a new name.

Louis Cato
Louis Cato

Heather Wines/CBS via Getty

When the eighth season of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert premieres on Sept. 6, the former Batiste-led Stay Human will be renamed to The Late Show Band when Cato takes the lead. Prior to his new role, Cato was a nightly member of the previous group.

The revamped band will include Joe Saylor, who's jammed alongside Cato since the beginning, as well as veteran house band members Louis Fouché, Jon Lampley, Endea Owens and Nêgah Santos.

He's traveled all over the world

Louis Cato
Louis Cato

Jazz Services/Heritage Images/Getty

According to his website, Cato is "Portuguese-born, Carolina-bred and a current Brooklyn, NY resident." Between touring to play different venues and hitting the studio to record, the professional musician's constantly traveling the world for a variety of reasons.

RELATED:  Stephen Colbert's Late Show Team Has Unlawful Entry Charges Dropped After Capitol Hill Arrests

He's a multi-instrumentalist

Louis Cato
Louis Cato

David Wolff - Patrick/Getty

Music was a staple in Cato's house growing up, which explains why the "music genius" picked up the drums at age two and learned wind instruments by age 12. When he grew older, he continued his passion for music in school.

He studied at Berklee College of Music for two semesters. Though much of his education and influence is rooted in contemporary Christian and gospel genres, his musical catalog spans wide — much like the wide array of instruments he's mastered through the years.

Cato honed his bass, drum and guitar skills in the underground jazz and soul scene in Boston, where he'd play nightly performances during a five-year period.

He's recorded music with major musicians

Louis Cato
Louis Cato

Al Pereira/Getty

The Grammy-nominated artist is more than just a multi-instrumentalist. He's a songwriter, singer and producer as well. Over the years, he's collaborated with top talent such as Beyonce, John Legend, Mariah Carey and Lisa Fischer (pictured) among other household names.

RELATED:  Jon Batiste Secretly Married Suleika Jaouad in February Before Her Bone Marrow Transplant

He's a solo artist as well

Louis Cato
Louis Cato

Al Pereira/Getty

In addition to his collaborations and two decades worth of projects, Cato made his solo record debut in 2016, entitled Starting Now. He mixed and produced the entire collection of work independently.

Currently, he's in post-production on his sophomore album Reflections, slated to be released later this year, per Deadline.

He posts song covers on social media

Louis Cato
Louis Cato

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty

When he's not performing on The Late Show, collaborating with other artists or working on independent projects, Cato's constantly posting videos of his musical creations to his Instagram, which show off his skills as a multi-instrumentalist.

A tour through his Instagram turns up fascinating clips of himself performing covers of songs while playing every instrument at the same time, recording each piece separately then stitching them together to create a sound that replicates a complete band.