Hollywood, Calif. (Dec. 15, 2008) It is official. The long-running Hip Hop band The Roots, led by Yamaha drummer ?uestlove
, will retire from large scale touring to take on the new role of Jimmy Fallon's house band when he takes over NBC's Late Night
from Conan O'Brien. The alternative cult band will assume their new position on the series premiere on March 2, 2009.
"?uest is an extremely versatile and gifted musician, known for so much more than his talent as a drummer, so this new gig makes so much sense," comments Joe Testa, international artist relations manager for Yamaha Drums. "We are proud to support him with all of his drum needs and we wish him nothing but the best with this new exciting adventure."
?uestlove, known for his timing and additions on common drum patterns, plays Yamaha Absolute Maple Nouveau drums. The announcement of the new gig was first leaked through a video interview with the drummer/producer in November, but the official announcement was made Dec. 8 via a web cast on Fallon's new site www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com
The Roots will hit a few cities for live concerts before taping begins on the show, including a Dec. 30 gig in Atlantic City, NJ and a four-date run in Japan in January.
The long-running Philadelphia group, which released its first album in 1993 and was one of the first groups to pair rappers with a live band, is best known for having a jazzy, eclectic approach to Hip Hop that appeals to alternative music lovers as much as rap and R&B fans. The Roots have toured and worked with a wide range of musicians, including Jay-Z, the Dave Matthews Band, and Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump. ?uestlove in particular has worked with an enormous variety of artists most prominently Erykah Badu, Common and D'Angelo and he has served as musical director for several Jay-Z concerts as well as The Dave Chappelle Show