Channel 4 has announced five-time Grammy award winner Jon Batiste will join season 3 of The Piano, replacing Lang Lang as mentor in 2025.


Lang Lang will have his last appearance in the heartwarming series during the show's Christmas special, which will feature the talented pianists from season 2 as they return to the train station to perform their favourite festive songs to commuters.

The new season, which is set to air next year, will see Lang Lang pass the musical baton onto celebrated singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Batiste.

Batiste has worked with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Ed Sheeran and Lana Del Rey, and in 2020, he was nominated for an Oscar for the song It Never Went Away in Pixar's Soul.

Jon Batiste smiling as he performs with a guitar to a crowd. He is wearing a white shirt and a sequinned blazer.
Jon Batiste. Douglas Mason/Getty Images

"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," Batiste said in a statement.

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"This show will bring together my unique history of performing in both train stations and concert halls. 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."

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Due to international commitments, Lang Lang has had to step down as a mentor for season 3, but noted he is "delighted" for Batiste as he joins the show.

He 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.

"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."

In season 3, Claudia Winkleman, Mika and Batiste will trawl the nation's train stations, and for the first time, they will visit an airport!

Ian Katz, Channel 4's chief creative officer, said: "After helping to establish the Piano in just two series as one of the country’s best loved and most joyous TV shows, Lang Lang leaves big shoes to fill - but if anyone can fill them it is Jon Batiste, an astonishing musician as accomplished playing a Beethoven concerto as creating hits with Beyoncé."

Season 2 of The Piano drew to a close earlier this month, with the seven finalists all taking centre stage in front of a live audience.

The finale episode saw Brad named as the winner, with Mika saying he was "one person in particular who opened a door on to a world that we had never been to before, and left us particularly wanting more".

"I really just want to show that us care kids can still do stuff," Brad said of his win.

"We just need to be pushed and around the right people, and thank you so much for appreciating my music."

The Piano season 2 is available to stream in full on Channel 4 now.


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