Early Years

- The Early Years -

Born and bred in New Orleans, Leslie started playing professional gigs in the French Quarter at age 12. Before that, Les played a marching drum with the prestigious St. Clark’s School marching band, in the annual Mardis Gras Parades and family picnics. He grew up playing with the famous Marsalas brothers’ Father, Ellis, Neville Brother’s Dad, John Budrow, Dr. John, and many others. Leslie was a regular at the famous Dew Drop Inn and Dookey Chase’ clubs. He would play his drums all night, and then go to school at 7 AM and fall asleep in class. Leslie’s music teacher, Mrs. Bush, made quite an impression on all of her students, and recently had a library named after her in honor of her many accomplishments.

His Uncle Ernest was a famous show drummer, and took Leslie under his wing. Everyone wants to know which drummers Leslie admired; some were Sonny Payne, Lowell Fulsom, and the drummers from Duke Ellington’s band, among others. Actually, Leslie didn’t care who he played with, and half the time did not even know who was who, he just wanted to play his drums.
(See Les Music Bio for more) 
 a drum kit for Christmas!

Leslie at 12 years old