Jay Leno might be returning to The Tonight Show on March 1, but his long time bandleader and sidekick, Kevin Eubanks won’t be joining him for long.
Kevin told the powers that be at the show he is leaving his post with The Tonight Show Band, which was also known as the Prime Time Band during Jay’s run at 10 p.m., after a transition period beginning March 1.
Eubanks is currently working out the terms of his departure so no specific date is set yet for his last night on The Tonight Show.
“Kevin is talking it over with Jay and Debbie,” a colleague said, referring to the show’s executive producer, Debbie Vickers. “He would never leave them in the lurch,” added the colleague.
NBC’s statement on the subject said: “Kevin has expressed interest in pursuing personal touring and recording opportunities; however, he will be with the show when it returns.”
Eubanks has been a member of the band as its lead guitarist since the start of Jay’s run on The Tonight Show in 1992. He took over as the band leader when Branford Marsalis left in 1995.
He has also been a frequent participant in comedy sketches on the show and Jay’s monologue.
Eubansk has not given any specific reason for leaving.
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