Kevin Eubanks Dishes On Working With Jay Leno, Life After ‘Tonight Show’ & New Music

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Kevin Eubanks with Gary Bryan (Photo by Britt Bickel)

Kevin Eubanks with Gary Bryan (Photo by Britt Bickel)

Britt Bickel
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The longtime leader of the iconic Tonight Show Band for over 15 years, Kevin Eubanks made a special holiday visit to K-EARTH 101 this morning!

With the upcoming transition of Jimmy Fallon taking over the Tonight Show from his former employer Jay Leno, Kevin won’t go into specifics about Leno getting the boot from the show even though his ratings continue to go strong.

“I think I know so I definitely won’t go into it,” he laughed. “It is what it is.

Growing up a classic rock and roll fan, Kevin names his favorite bands including Frank Zappa, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Chicago. Thanks to working on the Tonight Show, Kevin has had the pleasure of meeting many of his favorite artists over the years.

“Meeting all of these wonderful musicians and getting to know them in a working situation over so many years,” he said. “Some of these musicians you kind of gravitate to.”

One of those musicians Kevin made a close connection to was Willie Nelson, telling us that when Willie came, the two would hang out in his tour bus, and uh, lose track of time…

“Whenever Willie rolled up, he just stayed in his bus…it got to the point when Willie’s here, the executive producer would say ‘well we won’t see Kevin all day, so make sure he knows what he’s supposed to do today,’” Kevin laughed. “I said, ‘I’m just trying to make the music guest feel comfortable.’”

Now that he’s not on the Tonight Show, Kevin continues to record new music and recently put out a new album The Messenger, for which he’s currently on tour with.

“The bottom line is to be able to play music, make your living doing it, make people happy doing it, make yourself happy is a blessing,” he said.

For tour dates, info on his new album and more, visit www.kevineubanks.com. Listen to our full interview with Kevin Eubanks in the clip below!

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