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Louis Cato

Known best as a member of Jon Batiste & Stay Human -- better known as the house band of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert -- Louis Cato defies easy categorization. He first gained attention as a drummer, but he's equally proficient on bass, guitar, and brass -- talent that earned him gigs with Snarky Puppy, David Sanborn, George Duke, and A Tribe Called Quest, and he's also a skilled producer and songwriter. Cato began to move out from behind the scenes with his jazz-inflected soul 2017 debut, Starting Now. A native of Lisbon, Portugal, Louis Cato moved to the United States as a child, living in Ohio and Washington, D.C. before settling in Albemarle, North Carolina in 1990. He began playing drums when he was a toddler, receiving his first full kit when he was five. By the time he was ten, he taught himself how to play string instruments, and in middle school he began to learn how to play brass. In high school, he began playing jazz extensively, and after graduation he spent two years at Berklee College of Music before moving to Brooklyn to work as a professional musician. Over the next few years, he earned many pro credits, including working in the touring bands for Bobby McFerrin, Marcus Miller, and John Scofield. He also started to play in the studio, appearing on records by Mariah Carey, John Legend, Talib Kweli, and A Tribe Called Quest. He also became a regular member of the fusion outfit Snarky Puppy and played with keyboardist Corey Bernhard in a group called 6Figures. In 2015, Jon Batiste offered Cato a spot in Stay Human, the house band he was assembling for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Cato accepted and the increased exposure led to a contract with RSVP Records, which issued the musician's debut, Starting Out, in 2017.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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