Of the musicians who have passed through Preservation Hall, Carl Le Blanc is certainly among the less likely to have embraced and mastered its style. Not for lack of talent, certainly; he was wailing on guitar before he was ten years old, having first noticed the instrument in the hands of the Beatles during their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. And it wasn’t for lack of exposure; some of the best marching bands in New Orleans were known to parade beneath his window as he was growing up in the Seventh Ward. But without the family history that had steeped many members of the band in jazz tradition from Day One, Le Blanc drew his inspiration from funk and rock music. When he did get called one day to sub on banjo at the Hall, he showed up with his hair in dreadlocks, his banjo set to guitar tuning, and, by his own admission, an attitude that didn’t exactly inspire anyone to call him back. From that point his career ranged far and wide, from stints with the avant-garde visionary Sun Ra to acting appearances in stage productions and films. It took 20 years for a second chance to play at Preservation Hall, but by this time the hair was trimmed, the banjo tuned correctly, and his appreciation for tradition considerably deepened. Today, when not on tour with the band, Le Blanc applies his Southern University degree in music education and graduate study at New York’s Columbia University to conducting workshops at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans and at facilities throughout the United States as well as conducting music education performances throughout the United States.