Late-night talker nabs new music director

“The Tonight Show” gets its fourth theme song in a little more than a year, as new music director Rickey Minor joins the late-night talker on Monday.

Minor will immediately put his stamp on the Jay Leno gabfest with a new theme, along with an entirely new band.

For those keeping track at home: Leno signed off in May 2009 with his long-running theme song, as written by original band leader Branford Marsalis. Conan O’Brien then launched with his own theme (a variation of his “Late Night” song).

When “The Jay Leno Show” launched last September, band leader Kevin Eubanks introduced a brand new theme song. And when Leno returned to “The Tonight Show” this past March, Eubanks opted to stick with that new tune (rather than revert to Marsalis’ version).

With Eubanks and his band departing, Minor was given full leeway to form his own new band — and come up with a new signature theme for the show.

Minor, the long-time “American Idol” band leader, will serve as both music director for the “Tonight Show” and play bass guitar. The new “Tonight Show” band also includes Teddy Campbell (drums); J. Wayne Linsey and David Delhomme (keyboards); Kevin Ricard (percussion); Randolph Ellis and Miguel Gandelman (woodwind); Raymond Monteiro (trumpet); Garrett Smith (trombone); and Dorian Holley (vocals).

A majority of the new “Tonight Show” band has “Idol” experience or was even in the “Idol” band. Holley’s experience includes “Idol,” where he served as associate music director and vocal coach, as well as “Dancing with the Stars.”

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