As exiting band leader Kevin Eubanks revealed in his farewell last week, he wasn’t the only “Tonight Show” band member departing. Eubanks’ entire crew was exiting.
That means that Minor, as music director, has been given full leeway to form his own new band — of which some members are joining him from his previous gig on “American Idol.”
Minor will also introduce a brand new “Tonight Show” theme song — which makes the second theme song switchover for Jay Leno in recent months.
That’s because Eubanks introduced a brand new theme for “The Jay Leno Show” last September, retiring the original “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” theme that Leno had used for years. When Leno returned to “The Tonight Show” this past March, Eubanks opted to stick with “The Jay Leno Show” theme, which he wrote, vs. Leno’s old “Tonight Show” theme, which he did not.
But with Eubanks gone, that has given Minor an opportunity to create a new theme, which will open the show this Monday, June 7.
Here’s a first look at the new “Tonight Show” band lineup:
Rickey Minor – Music Director/Bass Guitar
Teddy Campbell – Drums
Paul Jackson Jr – Guitar
J. Wayne Linsey – Keyboard
David Delhomme – Keyboard
Kevin Ricard – Percussion
Randolph Ellis – Woodwind
Miguel Gandelman – Woodwind
Raymond Monteiro – Trumpet
Garrett Smith – Trombone
Dorian Holley – Vocals
For the history-minded in the crowd, go here to listen t the original “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” theme, which ran from 1992 to 2009. (It’s about 30 seconds in, I’m not sure why it’s so hard to find it on YouTube!)
And here’s the theme that ran for “The Jay Leno Show,” as well as for “The Tonight Show” between March 1, 2010 and May 28, 2010: