Zigaboo Modeliste

Zigaboo Modeliste

Zigaboo Modeliste and his Big Chiefs -New Orleans Legend, from the Meters and the King of the Funky Drummers Set for UK & Europe Tour

One Tree Limited is pleased to announce the upcoming tours for ZIGABOO MODELISTE, the legendary drummer who laid down the funkiest of beats for The METERS (Cissy Strut, Look-Ka Py Py, Sophisticated Cissy and so many more).

Acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of funk his distinctive drum style set the beat that New Orleans grooved to for over a decade.

Now as drummer, band leader and outstanding vocalist, Zig is set to tour the UK and Europe with his Big Chiefs – delivering grooves from the Meters’ song book plus new material that will ensure a Crescent City party on the dance floor of every venue they play.

In 2011 Zigaboo was asked by Mark Ronson to work on the critically acclaimed film “Regeneration Project” (produced in association with the Grammy Awards).  Zig wasn’t just the man with the sticks but also the inspiration for Ronson’s track “A La Modeliste” performed by a “super group” including with Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Trombone Shorty, and members of The Dap Kings. 

Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste, the Meters Years and More:

Put simply, Zigaboo Modeliste is a master drummer, rhythm innovator, percussionist, and New Orleans legend. The most highly acclaimed drummer ever to hail from the Crescent City, Ziggy’s creativity has been a major influence on the sound and shape of funk music for over four decades as well as providing the back bone (and break beats!) for many Hip-Hop tracks.

Ziggy joined the Meters in 1966 at a time when the band were mostly playing local New Orleans clubs, with a residency here and there (most notably The Nightcap and The Ivanhoe).  Soon the band were picked up by Allen Toussaint to be his house rhythm section, backing the likes of Lee Dorsey, Chris Kenner, Earl King, Betty Harris, and Toussaint himself on stage and in the studio in the late '60s and early '70s.

By the late Sixties the Meters had grown in popularity nationally, and released “Sophisticated Cissy”, “Cissy Strut”, “Look-ka Py Py” and the “Chicken” - all of which charted between 1969 and 1970.

Through the Seventies (and now signed to Reprise Records) the Meters continued to gig and record as well as play on albums by Dr John, Robert Palmer, Jess Roden, Labelle, King Biscuit Boy, and Paul McCartney and Wings. They backed Dr John on tours in 1973 and King Biscuit Boy in 1974, and opened shows for the Rolling Stones on their 1975 American and 1976 European tours.  The band finally broke up in 1977.

The Stones connection stayed with Zig and in 1979 he joined Keith Richards and Ron Woods for their New Barbarians Tour.

Since the Meters, Zig has continued to work as a prolific songwriter (he has written over 200 songs individually and collectively) and his music has featured in the movie soundtracks of “Two Can Play That Game”, “Jackie Brown”, “Drum Line”, “8 Mile”, “Hancock” and "Red".

As a creative musical force, Ziggy’s beats have grown and evolved, being sampled many times over by the likes of Musiq, 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 Tweet.

Ziggy is a BMI award winner for the Young Gunz track, “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” and his drum sound also provided the main loops for Amerie’s “1Thing”, which was nominated for two Grammy’s and topped the R&B charts. 

Zigaboo Modeliste’s Solo Career:

Ziggy’s first solo CD, “” was released in 2000 and hailed in reviews as one of the most outstanding comeback records of the year.

The follow up release of “I’m On the Right Track” in 2004 featured special guests Dr John and Bernie Worrell.

“Funk Me Hard Live”, although recorded in 1980, a collection of funk originals was released in 2009

Ziggy’s most recent solo album “New Life” was released in 2011 and is a slice of funk that proves the fountain of his rhythmic imagination shows no signs of running dry.

All of these solo works have been issued on Zigaboo’s own label, JZM Records and are available to download on iTunes or on CD at or

…His Big Chiefs

Hand-picked for his UK and European shows Zig will be touring with members of Station House.

Featuring UK funk drummer and original member of Cymande, Sam Kelly – who for these shows will be on hand percussion!  Sam has also been in the drum seat for Dr John, Eddie Floyd, Robert Plant and Gary More amongst others.

The Big Chiefs also star Paul Jobson on keys (The Impressions, Ben E King, Chaka Khan, Hamish Stuart), Spy Austin on bass (Gil Scot Heron, George Clinton, Desmond Dekker, Jocelyn Brown and more) and Tony Qunta on guitar (Odyssey, Grace Kennedy, Johnny Mars).