Joe Lastie

Joe Lastie is a treasured fixture at Preservation Hall, a drummer who carries the traditions of his rich musical legacy in every beat. Lastie was born in New Orleans in 1960 and raised in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, and musicians in his family included his mother, both grandfathers, his aunt Betty, and his uncles Melvin, David, and Walter “Popee,” all important artists in their own rights. Joe’s grandfather, "Deacon" Frank "Floorshow" Lastie, was a minister and is credited with popularizing the drum set in church music. As a youth, Joe would set up a small drum kit at the foot of his grandparents’ bed and practice on whatever drums were available. “It didn’t matter if it was just a snare drum and cymbal,” he remembered, “I’d always find a way to make it work out.” Lastie played his first job with a rhythm section backing the Desire Community Choir. He also studied jazz with Willie Metcalf at the Dryades Street YMCA, where his classmates included the young Wynton and Branford Marsalis

During a brief stint in New York, the high-school aged Lastie got a gig in a Broadway pit band, then returned home to the Crescent City. In 1989, he perched on the drum throne at Preservation Hall for the first time, and essentially has been there ever since.

In addition to his work with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Lastie has collaborated with various artists and has been featured on recordings spanning jazz, gospel, and other genres. His versatility as a drummer and his deep-rooted connection to the musical traditions of New Orleans have made him a highly sought-after performer. Beyond his musical endeavors, Joe Lastie is also a dedicated ambassador for the cultural heritage of New Orleans. He is passionate about sharing the city's musical legacy with audiences around the world and continues to inspire aspiring musicians through his performances, workshops, and educational outreach efforts.


Get the 'OZone monthly newsletter
facebook logo
Like us on Facebook
Volunteer at WWOZ
Hear it here!