Joe Lastie Jr.’s keeping our New Orleans sound alive

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)- He toured the world for 27 years as drummer of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, but Joe Lastie Jr's musical roots are deep.  He hails from the musical Lastie Family, and how he plays drums is something he picked up from his grandfathers.

The Lastie Family of New Orleans (Lastie family archives)

The Lastie Family of New Orleans (Lastie family archives)

"I watched both of them play drums in church, and my grandfather was Frank Lastie, and he had a thing where he did with his fingers," Lastie recalled. "He didn't play with his arms , he played with his fingers, and that stuck out with me, watching him play like that."

Frank Lastie (Lastie family archives)

Frank Lastie (Lastie family archives)

Lastie still performs with the family as a gospel group, and his  current band - Joe Lastie's New Orleans Sounds - helps to keep our sound alive.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Steve Earle (C) and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band perform during the Preservation Hall Jazz Band 50th anniversary at Carnegie Hall on January 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Cory Schwartz/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Steve Earle (C) and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band perform during the Preservation Hall Jazz Band 50th anniversary at Carnegie Hall on January 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Cory Schwartz/Getty Images)

"What I'm trying to do... People come to New Orleans to hear what? New Orleans music New Orleans jazz. That's what I want to bring to people who come to New Orleans. I want them to hear that New Orleans sound," says Lastie.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Mos Def (C) performs with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band during the Preservation Hall Jazz Band 50th anniversary at Carnegie Hall on January 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Cory Schwartz/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Mos Def (C) , Trombone Shorty (L), and Allen Toussaint(piano) performs with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band during the Preservation Hall Jazz Band 50th anniversary at Carnegie Hall on January 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Cory Schwartz/Getty Images)

As we mentioned, Joe played with Preservation Hall for 27 years.  He no longer travels with that iconic group, but manages to play local gigs with their legacy band.  He counts that time on the road as time well spent.

INDIO, CA - APRIL 13: Musician Shannon Powell of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs onstage during day 3 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 13, 2014 in Indio, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Coachella)

INDIO, CA - APRIL 13: Musician Joe Lastie Jr. of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs onstage during day 3 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 13, 2014 in Indio, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Coachella)

"I loved it. I played for kings, I played for queens, I played all over the world," he said. "It's not a place where I haven't been, so I'm really grateful for traveling with Preservation Hall through the years. What stuck out with me with that someone came to me and said, 'You know what? You look like your playing was God sent from above.'"

Joe Lastie's New Orleans Sound performs at the Maison Bourbon on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The Lastie Family gospel group performs this Sunday, August 28 at Preservation Hall. Click here for tickets.