Kevin Eubanks Announces His Final "Tonight Show" Appearance
Jazz guitarist Kevin Eubanks has announced that his final gig as "The Tonight Show" bandleader will be May 28. Eubanks, 52, has been with Jay Leno for 18 years, since Leno took over the show in 1992. Eubanks became musical director when Branford Marsalis left in 1995.
Eubanks told Leno during Monday's (April 12) taping of the show that he was ready for a career change of pace, but he didn't announce specific plans. NBC has not named a replacement.
"After 18 years of playing America into commercials, I'm gonna go somewhere where I can finish a song," Eubanks told Leno. He added that he had no specific plans.
Eubanks was with Leno for the short-lived The Jay Leno Show in prime-time, then came back to The Tonight Show when Leno reclaimed the show from Conan O'Brien in March.