Paul Shaffer is Ready To Keep Rocking

Paul Shaffer was musical director for David Letterman for over 30 years - now he’s bringing new music around the country with his longtime band.

The World’s Most Dangerous Band will appear at Montclair’s Wellmont Theater on April 21 for their fifth show in a nationwide tour.

paul shaffer
Photo courtesy of Live Nation.

For many years, all fans needed to do to listen to Paul Shaffer’s music was turn on late night television. The veteran multi-instrumentalist has worked with David Letterman since 1983, a consistent and vibrant compliment to the popular talk show host. As leader of The World’s Most Dangerous Band, Shaffer spent over 30 years performing and directing music on Letterman’s show. Since Letterman’s retirement, Shaffer has toured with The World’s Most Dangerous Band.  

Shaffer is more than a career musician – he is a life musician. Born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Shaffer played piano from a young age. Shaffer attended the University of Toronto and played in various bands at various gigs. He graduated university in 1971 with a B.A. in sociology.

Shaffer began his musical career in 1972 when he was director of music for the musical production Godspell. Shaffer had stints playing piano on Broadway before he eventually found himself heavily involved in the music for Saturday Night Live. Shaffer spent five years there, and eventually found a long term position as leader of The World’s Most Dangerous Band, creating and directing music on Late Night With David Letterman.

Shaffer kept the band together despite the discontinuation of Letterman’s show, much to the delight of those who enjoyed his projects and musical ability.

Seb Smith, a Montclair resident who wants to attend the concert because of Shaffer’s reputation, thinks it’d be foolish not to attend the Wellmont event.

“I saw Letterman once in the 90’s. The music was great live, and I remember becoming interested in how they create and coordinate the music for those talk shows. I’m glad Shaffer decided to keep playing music, and if he’s playing in Montclair, I don’t see how I can’t go to that.”

On top of continuing to play music, the band has decided to release an album that they will be promoting on the tour. The album has 12 tracks and includes guest appearances from an eclectic selection of musicians such as Shaggy, Darius Rucker, Bill Murray and Will Lee. This bodes well for their Wellmont show on March 21, considering it is advertised as having a surprise guest vocalist. While it may be one of the vocalists featured on the album, the band is well-known and respected in the music industry and any number of singers and artists would very much like to perform with the band.

The show begins at 8p.m. Tickets for the show can be bought at the ticket office or online, on the Wellmont’s website. The Wellmont Theater is located at 5 Seymour Street, Montclair, N.J.

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