2009 Champions

Champions by Year

Joyce La Nasa

“I’m 78 and I intend to keep on rockin’!”

“I’m 78 and I intend to keep on rockin’!”


In the spring of 2005, at the age of 75, Joyce La Nasa became a percussionist. The fact that she had never played a percussion instrument before was never a concern. At a party, she was captivated by a little girl shaking yellow maracas and Joyce asked if she might try them out. So she picked ‘em up, started shaking to the beat of the music … and she hasn’t stopped yet.

Now 78, Joyce performs regularly with well-known New Orleans favorite, the Bucktown Allstars. If you’ve attended a local music festival lately, you’ve probably seen her in the audience dancing up a storm and drawing a crowd. Joyce is now a fixture on the local music scene, toting her maracas and tambourine to numerous local festivals and events. Her energy and enthusiasm are so contagious that she’s frequently asked to join the musicians on stage. In fact, in the past few years she has played with more than 12 local bands. Not bad for a retired secretary with no formal training.

Some people view “retirement” as a time to wind down and relax. But many others, like Joyce, embrace the opportunity to follow their muse and live life to the fullest. Life experience is a wonderful teacher for those with open hearts and minds. It tells us not to be afraid to try something new … not to worry about what others might think … that anything we want to achieve is possible.

So if you’ve ever thought you missed your chance, or figured it’s too late to realize that rock star fantasy you’ve had since age 10 (admit it), you might contemplate these words from Joyce La Nasa … “I’m 78 and I intend to keep on rockin’!”