Joe Gelini is the epitome of a New Orleans drummer. Blending influences of funk, gospel, Mardi Gras Indian rhythms, samba, Afro-Cuban, second-line, rock, jazz, and rhythm & blues, Joe creates a deep groove with impeccable timing. Drawing upon various musical influences allows him to perform multi-layered textures and voices within his drumming. This approach has allowed Joe to become one of the most sought after drummers in a city known for its drumming tradition. Just like the cuisine of the Crescent City, Joe’s drumming is a combination of musical flavors brought from across the globe but developed here.

Joe began his career while earning his Bachelor of Music Degree at the world famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Studying with master drum teachers Bob Moses, Kenwood Denard, Idris Muhammad and Rick Considine helped Joe secure a coveted gospel gig at the renowned Concord Baptist Church led by Dennis Montgomery, III. Joe went on to perform with Grammy Award Winning Clarinetist Richard Stolzman as well as the world-renowned Czech Radio Symphony, all before graduating in 2001.

The dynamics of Joe's formal training coupled with his New Orleans musical pedigree allows him to be as comfortable playing with a click track for a movie as he is jamming on Big Chief Monk Boudreaux's front porch. Joe has recorded with Art Neville for the Independent Film “The Biggest Little Shrimp in Town”: winner of Best Song at the Beverly Hills Film Festival. Making his motion picture debut, he recently played drums and acted in the film “Hungry Rabbit Jumps” starring Nicolas Cage and January Jones.

Education has always been paramount to his musical philosophy. He began as an accompanist at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (N.O.C.C.A.-Riverfront), moving on to music programs at the Contemporary Arts Center (C.A.C.) and Young Audiences for Learning. Joe is also an accomplished music teacher. Currently he teaches forty-five students per week, tours regularly, and plays gigs from Bourbon Street to historic New Orleans Uptown Clubs.

Joe is currently accepting new students. Please call or email for details.

joegelini (at)