By Frazier Moore, AP television writer
NEW YORK – Jay Leno’s longtime bandleader, Kevin Eubanks, may not play very long once the Leno troupe returns to “The Tonight Show.”
NBC said Tuesday that Eubanks has expressed interest in personal touring and recording. The network says he will be part of the show when it reoccupies late night March 1, but his continued involvement is uncertain.
The 52-year-old Eubanks, whose duties include comic sideman to Leno as well as guitarist, has been a fixture since Leno took the reins of “The Tonight Show” in 1992. He became musical director when Branford Marsalis left in 1995.
Eubanks was also part of “The Jay Leno Show:” the NBC prime-time flop that just ended.
Leno is returning as “Tonight Show” host, a job he held for 17 years until giving it up to Conan O’Brien last May.
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