Hannah Welton, an alumna of the jazz studies program at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) and a former drummer with Prince, will be the guest drummer from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 on NBC TV’s Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Welton, who was known as Hannah Ford while studying at CCPA from 2008-10, will be performing for four nights with the nationally broadcast talk show that nightly reaches millions of viewers. It will be the star drummer’s first public appearance on the performance stage since taking off a year ago to have a baby.
“I’ve missed playing and performing and this will be an exciting opportunity for me to jump back into the music scene,” said Welton, who studied at Roosevelt with Paul Wertico, associate professor of jazz studies in CCPA, before joining Prince’s band.
“Not many people get to do the kind of gigs that Hannah has done. Late Night with Seth Meyers will be great exposure for her and all of us at CCPA will be watching with pride,” said Wertico.
Welton, who now lives in Minnesota, credits her Roosevelt experience with giving her the skills she needed to break into the big time with Prince and later with 3RDEYEGIRL, a band that Prince supported. “At Roosevelt, I learned to play a lot of different styles of music, and that really helped to prepare me for my professional career,” she said.
For her part, Welton, who is also a vocalist, said she’s ready for anything as a guest performer on next week’s late night show. “We’ll be rehearsing every day before the show is recorded and I plan to take it as we go, day by day, and just enjoy the jamming,” she said.
Late Night with Seth Meyers airs at 11:35 p.m. Central Time on weeknights on NBC5 in Chicago.