This just in from NBC: Kevin Eubanks is definitely leaving "The Tonight Show" — and soon. He’ll be gone in six weeks. The release from NBC:
During the April 12 taping of NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” music director Kevin Eubanks confirmed that he will be departing from the late-night show after being featured on the program for 18 years.
Following the traditional “Headlines” segment, host Jay Leno welcomed Eubanks to the couch that so many celebrities and politicians have used in the program’s history to make newsworthy announcements. “Now we have one more headline to get to and it involves our very own Kevin Eubanks,” said Leno.
Eubanks explained: “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.”
The duo explained that Eubanks would continue his role on the show for another six weeks.
Leno replied: “It has been a pleasure. You’ve been a great friend and really supportive. When those jokes die, I gotta look to you man.” Leno also joked about their “date nights” where the two preview the upcoming films that the show’s guests are promoting.
When Leno asked the guitarist what the first thing he would do after leaving the show would be. Eubanks answered and joked: “I thought about this and it wasn’t that difficult. After 18 years of playing America in to commercials, I’m gonna go somewhere where I can finish a song.”