Berklee Today: Late-Night Virtuoso
Guitarist Kevin Eubanks is in a dressing room at NBC Studios in Burbank, California, shortly before the taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It's early May, a few weeks before Leno's much-publicized handoff of the show's hosting chores to comedian compatriot Conan O'Brien. There's no hint that Eubanks feels any butterflies in the half-hour before he is to go onstage before 5 million–plus TV viewers and the hundreds sitting in the studio audience. His calm demeanor makes sense. He's got his role down. Eubanks has been Leno's bandleader and comic foil five nights a week for the past 14 years.