Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste – Biography

2018 Lifetime Achievement
Grammy Award Recipient

Rolling Stone 100 Greatest
Drummers of All Time

Drum! 50 Most Important
Drummers of All Time

Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste is a master drummer, rhythm innovator and New Orleans legend. The most highly-acclaimed drummer ever to hail from the Crescent City. Zigaboo is the founding drummer, songwriter and singer of the legendary group the Meters. Modeliste has toured and recorded with Rolling Stones, Ron Wood and Keith Richards as part of the New Barbarians project as well as his sidework with Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Betty Harris, Allen Toussaint, Lee Dorsey, John Fogerty, Harry Connick, Mark Ronson, Erykah Badu, Robbie Robertson and Israeli-French Grammy winner Yael Naim. His drum patterns have been sampled extensively by hip hop artists such as Musiq Soulchild, Queen Latifah, Run DMC, NWA, Ice Cube, Salt N’ Pepa, Cypress Hill, EPMD, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, Naughty by Nature, and Eminem.

Modeliste is a BMI award winner for the Young Gunz track, “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.” His drum sound also provided the main loops for Amerie’s “1Thing,” which was nominated for two Grammys and reached No. 1 on the R&B charts. His songwriting displays both his musical genius and original funk style. Ziggy’s songs have been released on over 70 albums nationally and internationally. His tunes have also graced such movies as “Two Can Play That Game,” “Jackie Brown,” “Drum Line,” “8 Mile,” “Hancock,” “Red,” and a Nike Commercial for Footaction. Modeliste was featured in producer Mark Ronson’s “Re:Generation Music Project,” In 2014, Modeliste’s drum work was sampled in Eminem’s single, “Berserk” — a Billboard No. 1 BMI Award winner.

In 2016, The Meters famed “Handclapping” was the featured song in Google Pixel Nightmoves. Modeliste is honored to be named in Rolling Stone Magazine’s “100 Greatest Drummers of All Times and Drum! 50 Most Important Drummers of All Time.

Zigaboo’s first solo CD,, was released in 2000 and was reviewed as one of the most outstanding comeback records of the year. The 2004 follow-up CD, I’m on the Right Track, featured special guests, Dr. John and Bernie Worrell. Funk Me Hard Live is an EP collection of funk originals recorded in 1980 and released in 2009. Ziggy’s 2011 release New Life,” was praised as an amazing slice of funk — proof that Modeliste’s fountain of rhythmic imagination shows no signs of running dry.

In 2013, Drum Channel and Zigaboo Modeliste released a DVD, ”The Originator of New Orleans Funky Drumming” — a history/biography of Zigaboo’s New Orleans-style drumming approach and technique. Our King of the Funky Drums is putting the finishing touches on his fifth solo CD “Funky Beat Provider” slated for a Spring 2020 Release. His solo work is released through his own label, JZM Records, and his business, Jomod Music Publishing, offering publishing services a varied repertoire of music for licensing.

In 2018, the Recording Academy has honored Modeliste and The Meters with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.

Contact: Kathy Webster Modeliste• Jomod Music Publishing/ JZM Records
Phone: 510-763-9763 • Cell: 510-410-1234 • Email: