Stephen Colbert names 'Social Music' artist Jon Batiste bandleader

'Social Music' artist Jon Batiste announced as bandleader for Stephen Colbert's new show

As the tears dry from David Letterman's recent final episode and its many tributes, anticipation is building for the debut of his "Late Show" replacement, Stephen Colbert.

Thursday found the former "Colbert Report" host shaving his mariner-esque beard to commemorate his return to the spotlight, and today he released a short video announcing his bandleader, Jon Batiste, in a brief, beignet-laden video.

While it's a mild disappointment to learn that a comic innovator like Colbert is adhering to talk show convention (where is it written that a late-night host has to have a bandleader anyway?), it's tough to argue with the chops of his choice. Batiste has been a rising star on the jazz festival circuit for years, and his most recent album "Social Music" raised his profile even higher with a rollicking mix of New Orleans-forged jazz, R&B and funk.

Batiste has often spoken of the value of bringing jazz to the people, and he evidently made an impression in a 2014 apperance on the "Colbert Report," which culminated in a rolling street performance. "We call those 'love riots,' " Batiste told The Times in 2014. "The idea is really just to use music as something that can bring people together and show the power of music to foster community."

Colbert's show premieres Sept. 8. New York City should probably prepare itself.

Want to read more like this? Follow me @chrisbarton.

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