'I like this guy': Stephen Colbert chooses Jon Batiste as 'Late Show' bandleader

by Chris Serico /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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New "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert may be missing his Colbeard, but it seems his new bandleader, New Orleans favorite Jon Batiste, is more than making up for that loss.

In a short-but-sweet video posted Thursday afternoon on Colbert's "Late Show" YouTube page, the host digs into a plate stacked high with beignets while he introduces a new friend.

"People keep asking me who my new bandleader's going to be. Well, I like this guy," says Colbert, who throws it over to Batiste for a 17-second jam session. The camera cuts back to Colbert, who's covered in what we hope is powdered sugar and a nearly empty plate. "So good," Colbert says as he licks his fingers, right before Batiste hops into the frame and shouts, "Yeah!"

Batiste, a Juilliard-trained jazz musician and educator, is a celebrated New Orleans artist whose collaborators have included rocker Lenny Kravitz and jazz icon Wynton Marsalis.

The jazz great may have impressed CBS executives and gotten to know his new colleague a little better last year, when he and his band Stay Human performed on "The Colbert Report," got the crowd — and Colbert — dancing, and literally took his music to the street for a rousing performance that thrilled audience members and pedestrians alike.

Batiste was "thrilled" to be a part of the show, according to the entertainment website The Wrap. "This is a match made in heaven," he reportedly said. "Get ready for a love riot in late night."

Colbert appeared to have only one concern about Batiste. "His music makes the audience feel so good, we may have to install a 'Do Not Make Love' sign," he said, according to The Wrap.

The premiere of "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" is slated for Sept. 8.

Follow TODAY.com writer Chris Serico on Twitter.

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