It looks like the final major piece is in place (although still no official announcement). The Hollywood Reporter ran the story this morning that the new band leader for AI will be Ray Chew (replacing Ricky Minor):
I wish him all the best - this is a tough position. Few contestants have any talent for arranging music, so that chore will largely fall to him. Not to mention he has no band (Ricky took his band with him to the Tonight Show), so Ray will have to start from scratch and put an ensemble together. (I wonder if he will bring back his old band "Ray Chew and The Crew"?)The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Ray Chew, a veteran of television music shows, has been handed the title and is already hard at work coming up with arrangements for the new crop of contestants.
Chew has served as bandleader and musical director for such programs as NBC’s It’s Showtime at the Apollo and The Singing Bee. He also curated all the music for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, where Idol alum Jennifer Hudson sang the national anthem, and the inaugural ball ushering in Barack Obama’s presidency in January 2009, which featured performances by Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, and Sting, along with an unforgettable rendition of Etta James’ “At Last,” sung by Beyoncé as the first couple had their first dance.