February 17, 2010 / 7:47 AM / 8 years ago

Kevin Eubanks exiting as Leno bandleader

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Changes are coming to Jay Leno’s revamped “Tonight Show.”

Leno’s longtime bandleader Kevin Eubanks is leaving the program, and announcer John Melendez will no longer provide voiceover for the show.

Eubanks will still appear on the revamped “Tonight Show” when it debuts March 1, but the jazz guitarist is currently negotiating an exit date with NBC. Sources expect Eubanks will depart within months of the show’s return.

The oft-amused Eubanks joined “Tonight” in 1992 and took over as bandleader from Branford Marsalis in 1995. Eubanks then followed Leno to his short-lived “Jay Leno Show.”

As for Melendez, who rose to infamy as Howard Stern’s sidekick Stuttering John, he is still expected to continue as a writer on the show.

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