Kevin Eubanks

Bandleader


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Kevin Eubanks describes growing up in a musical family and chronicles his path from Philadelphia to the NBC studios in Burbank, CA. He discusses his mother, a music teacher and talented musician, and how much she influenced his love of music. He talks of playing several instruments, outlines his time at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and recalls the first time he went on tour. He speaks of moving to New York and forming The Kevin Eubanks Quartet, and describes how he got his first record deal. Eubanks then details how he became first a band member and subsequently the bandleader on <i>The Tonight Show with Jay Leno</i>. He describes his friendship with Leno, interactions with musical guests, and comedy bits that he wrote for the program. He also comments on Leno's move to 10pm with <i>The Jay Leno Show</i>, and the controversy surrounding Leno's return to <i>The Tonight Show</i>. Eubanks also explains his decision to leave <i>The Tonight Show</i>, and talks about then-current projects and what lies ahead for him in his post-late night era. Amy Harrington conducted the interview in North Hollywood, CA on September 23, 2011.

"Jay and I just got along, in the most natural way. I think that superseded the music and everything else that had to do with me contributing to the show."

Highlights
Kevin Eubanks on being promoted from band member to leader on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno
06:36
Kevin Eubanks on the first Tonight Show back after 9/11
04:45
Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's 2009 exit from The Tonight Show and move to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
03:44
Kevin Eubanks on Leno's return to The Tonight Show
08:34
Kevin Eubanks on deciding to leave The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
06:15
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood in Philadelphia; on what he learned from his musical mother; on his earliest memories of playing instruments; on wanting to be a musician and growing up in a musical family; on loving the guitar
13:27
On TV shows and theme songs he loved as a kid; on attending Berklee College of Music in Boston; on learning to play the trumpet; on meeting saxophonist Branford Marsalis; on going on tour for the first time; on loving orchestration; on moving to New York after college and playing music with people in town
12:33
On playing with drummer Roy Haynes; on forming The Kevin Eubanks Quartet and getting a record deal; on applying his knowledge to music for television; on becoming comfortable with television and working with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno
14:17
On how his musical timing helps with comedy; on first getting a job with The Tonight Show band and moving to LA; on writing arrangements for the show, improvising, and rehearsing for The Tonight Show
16:52

Chapter 2

On being promoted from band member to leader on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno; on favorite Tonight Show moments
14:12
On adjusting to life as bandleader; on choosing music cues and selecting songs; on music he played for Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton's appearances on The Tonight Show; on his songwriting process
13:12
On the tone on the set of The Tonight Show when he became bandleader; on Tonight Show pointers from Ed McMahon; on writing comedy sketches for the show and doing Tonight Show bits with Jay Leno; on Tonight Show musical guests and his favorite musical performances on the show; on arranging music for Bill Cosby
15:29
On meeting Diana Ross; on the unplugged version of The Tonight Show during the energy crisis in September 2000; on the first Tonight Show back after 9/11
12:55
On Jay Leno's 2009 exit from The Tonight Show and move to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
03:44

Chapter 3

On Jay Leno's move from The Tonight Show to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show); on differences in the music for The Tonight Show and The Jay Leno Show; on feeling a network presence on The Jay Leno Show and on the show's following
14:18
On how real his on camera persona is; on comedy bits with Jay Leno; on why The Jay Leno Show didn't work; on talking to Conan O'Brien during The Jay Leno Show/Tonight Show controversy
07:18
On Leno's return to The Tonight Show; on deciding to leave The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; on his last night as bandleader on the show; on returning to The Tonight Show as a guest in 2010
17:26
On appearing on Muppets Tonight, Hollywood Squares, and Days of Our Lives
02:52
On teaching music; on then-current projects; on where he sees himself in 10 years
09:00
Shows

Days of Our Lives

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Kevin Eubanks on appearing on Days of Our Lives
01:08

Hollywood Squares, The

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Kevin Eubanks on appearing on Hollywood Squares
00:50

Jay Leno Show, The

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Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's 2009 exit from The Tonight Show and move to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
03:44
Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's move from The Tonight Show to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show); on the music and set for the show; on feeling a network presence on the show
14:18
Kevin Eubanks on why The Jay Leno Show didn't work
02:52

Man From U.N.C.L.E., The

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Kevin Eubanks on loving The Man From U.N.C.L.E. when he was a kid
00:35

Mission: Impossible

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Kevin Eubanks on loving the theme song to Mission: Impossible
00:14

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Kevin Eubanks on watching The Tonight Show when he was a kid
00:31

Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The

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Kevin Eubanks on becoming comfortable with television and working with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno
02:10
Kevin Eubanks on first getting a job with Branford Marsalis' Tonight Show band
14:12
Kevin Eubanks on being promoted from band member to leader on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno and adjusting to his new role
35:32
Kevin Eubanks on Tonight Show musical guests
13:08
Kevin Eubanks on the unplugged version of The Tonight Show during the energy crisis in September 2000
02:23
Kevin Eubanks on the first Tonight Show back after 9/11
04:45
Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's 2009 exit from The Tonight Show and move to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
03:44
Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's move from The Tonight Show to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
06:39
Kevin Eubanks on Leno's return to The Tonight Show
08:34
Kevin Eubanks on deciding to leave The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; on his last night as bandleader and then returning to The Tonight Show as a guest in 2010
08:52
Topics

9/11

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Kevin Eubanks on the first Tonight Show back after 9/11
04:45

Fame and Celebrity

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Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's 2009 exit from The Tonight Show and move to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
03:44
Kevin Eubanks on why The Jay Leno Show didn't work
02:52

Memorable Moments on Television

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Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's 2009 exit from The Tonight Show and move to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
03:44

TV Theme Songs

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Kevin Eubanks on loving the theme song to Mission: Impossible
00:14
Professions

Music Director

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Kevin Eubanks on being promoted from band member to leader on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno
06:36

Musician

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Kevin Eubanks on wanting to be a musician and growing up in a musical family
02:28
Kevin Eubanks on forming The Kevin Eubanks Quartet and making his first record
04:28
Kevin Eubanks on first getting a job with Branford Marsalis' Tonight Show band
14:12
Genres

Late Night

View Genre
Kevin Eubanks on first getting a job with Branford Marsalis' Tonight Show band
14:12
Kevin Eubanks on becoming comfortable with television and working with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno
02:10
Kevin Eubanks on being promoted from band member to leader on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno and adjusting to his new role
35:32
Kevin Eubanks on Tonight Show musical guests
13:08
Kevin Eubanks on the unplugged version of The Tonight Show during the energy crisis in September 2000
02:23
Kevin Eubanks on the first Tonight Show back after 9/11
04:45
Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's 2009 exit from The Tonight Show and move to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
03:44
Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's move from The Tonight Show to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
06:39
People

Bill Cosby

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Kevin Eubanks on arranging music for Bill Cosby
01:07

Jay Leno

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Kevin Eubanks on becoming comfortable with television and working with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno
02:10
Kevin Eubanks on being promoted from band member to leader on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno
06:36
Kevin Eubanks on Tonight Show bits with Jay Leno
04:18
Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's 2009 exit from The Tonight Show and move to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
03:44
Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's move from The Tonight Show to a 10pm show; on doing bits with Leno
14:18
Kevin Eubanks on why The Jay Leno Show didn't work
03:41
Kevin Eubanks on Leno's return to The Tonight Show
08:34
Kevin Eubanks on deciding to leave The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; on Eubanks' last night as bandleader and then returning to The Tonight Show as a guest in 2010
08:52

Ed McMahon

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Kevin Eubanks on Tonight Show pointers from Ed McMahon
00:36

Conan O'Brien

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Kevin Eubanks on Jay Leno's 2009 exit from The Tonight Show and move to a 10pm show (The Jay Leno Show)
03:44
Kevin Eubanks on talking to Conan O'Brien during the The Jay Leno Show /Tonight Show controversy
00:49

Diana Ross

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Kevin Eubanks on meeting Diana Ross
05:47

Lalo Schifrin

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Kevin Eubanks on loving the theme song to Mission: Impossible
00:14

Jeff Zucker

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Kevin Eubanks on feeling a network presence on The Jay Leno Show
05:35

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