Bassist Kevin Eubanks has been a member of the NBC “Tonight Show” band since Jay Leno became host in 1992, and has been the leader of that band since 1995, when Branford Marsalis left. Now Eubanks has announced his own departure.
His remaining tenure with the show will amount to about six weeks. He said he is loves the gig but is interested in exploring the touring and recording options that are more typical of a musical career.
Taking a seat usually occupied by guests, Eubanks told Leno, “After 18 years, I just need a change of pace and see what else is going on. But it’s a really difficult decision because this has become my second home, as it has been for the band, and I love the audience and the American people really love the show and it’s been a wonderful experience to be here.”
No word as yet on a possible replacement.