Jon Batiste replaces Lang Lang on The Piano for series 3

Claudia, Mika and Jon Batiste group photo

Five-time Grammy winner Jon Batiste is set to join the heart-warming Channel 4 series The Piano.

Batiste, a celebrated singer, songwriter, and composer, will replace Lang Lang as judge and mentor when the show returns next year.

Lang Lang will bid farewell during the Christmas special this December. In this special episode, talented pianists from series two will return to the train station to perform festive songs for commuters.

Familiar faces will be joined by special guests, bringing merry surprises.

Lang Lang will pass the baton to Batiste for the next seven-episode instalment.

Jon Batiste said: “I am so happy to be a mentor on The Piano and to witness the pianists for the new series express themselves on the instrument I’ve dedicated my life to. This show will bring together my unique history of performing in both train stations and concert halls.

The Piano Christmas Special 2023
The Piano Christmas Special 2023

“No matter where, I always have believed that music at its best creates community and brings folks together in divided times. It will be a massive joy to do just that all around the UK train stations with the piano and new talent.

“In collaboration with Mika, an incredible songwriter and musician and Claudia with her own inimitable style, I can’t wait for all the thrilling musical experiences ahead.”

Lang Lang said: “Being a mentor on The Piano and spending time with the talented pianists has been a true joy. The level of talent I have witnessed has been phenomenal and it has been a privilege to see the love for playing the piano across the UK.

“Due to international concert commitments, I will be stepping down for series three but am delighted to be passing the baton to my dear friend Jon Batiste, who I know will be fantastic in the role.

“I am going to miss Mika and Claudia terribly but am very much looking forward to being reunited with them later this year filming the Christmas Special.”

Batiste’s extensive experience includes working with superstars like Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Ed Sheeran.

He has also won an Oscar for his work on Pixar’s Soul and was nominated for an Oscar for the song It Never Went Away.

Recently, Batiste collaborated with Beyoncé on her hit country album, Cowboy Carter.

Batiste, Mika, and Claudia Winkleman will travel to five iconic railway stations, giving amateur pianists a chance to shine.

Series two’s finale saw Liverpudlian Brad perform a soul-stirring composition, wowing the audience at Manchester’s Aviva Studios.

Funds raised from the event went to placing and maintaining street pianos across UK train stations.

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