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Uncle Lionel Batiste Dies at 81

Uncle Lionel Batiste, longtime bass drummer of the Tremé Brass Band and patriarch of the famed Batiste family, died Sunday morning of complications from Stage 4 cancer, NoDef confirmed with friends of Batiste this morning. He was 81. Always sporting an outfit that was the definition of dapper, sunglasses and, in recent years, a cane, Batiste made it his mission to put a smile on everyone's face, and he was hard-presesd to find anyone whose face didn't light up in his prescence.


In addition to duties behind the bass drum, he was also known to take the mic to sing rousing renditions of New Orleans standards. Batiste first learned he had pancreatic cancer about two weeks ago. He played bass drum since he was a boy, and never seemed to lose his love for marching in street parades, heading out on the streets for a night out and working the crowd in hopes of finding a dance partner.





Correction: Initial information provided to NOLA Defender indicated Lionel Batiste died on the night of June 7. According to his family and the Treme Brass Band, he died Sunday morning, June 8.

I had the great pleasure of

I had the great pleasure of dancing with the gentleman. May he dance in Heaven to the beat of his own drum!

The perfect gentleman every

The perfect gentleman every hour of the day or night. An example of what we should strive to be.

The sky opened up with

The sky opened up with delight the clouds marching in.banging the thunderous drums of a second line. Grey and gloom and a rainy day headed our way in our city under the lake. God shining his glory down and extending a glimmer of sunshine to take one of our saints home to heaven. His drum packed his suit pressed our uncle is on his way home. To have seen him dance sing or play was a gift shared by the many souls that have been graced with his love. A unmatched love for music and the spirit that is new Orleans. Today this July 8th marks the loss of such a great man that truly loved our great city. Everyone lost the greatest uncle any human breathing on earth could ever want. Uncle Lionel you will be missed.

Good-night, sweet prince; And

Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Goodnight, sweet prince; And

Goodnight, sweet prince; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

...and from now on, when I

...and from now on, when I hear thunder, I know that it is really Uncle Lionel playing his drum in Heaven. I hear it right now...
I will always remember you, and am grateful to have known you. We will meet again at that great gig in the sky. Until then, know that you are still alive in all of our hearts.

I always knew it was a good

I always knew it was a good day if I had an Uncle Lionel sighting. I'm sad I'm going to be in a second line for you and not with you.

Uncle Lionel was the

Uncle Lionel was the definition of Grace and Class. I will miss you, Unc.

A parade in Heaven waiting

A parade in Heaven waiting for you with a big new drum and angles to accompany...
You will be very missed...Much love, New Orleans Barbara Lane

If you Were touched and

If you Were touched and improved by Uncle Lionel in your life ?
New Orleans has become a part of your blood? Play Brass music loud. If you drink ? Pour a lil out. If you cry, cry hard. If you laugh, laugh loud and deep all the way to your toes. It is time to celebrate a local legend. He may rest but I bet he will be leading his own second line before he marches in with the saints.

Descança em Paz !

Descança em Paz !

You gave the world so much,

You gave the world so much, and we of New Orleans, were especially blessed to know you. R.I.P., Uncle Lionel. I know you'll have those angels marching in high style behind you.

You will be sorely missed..

You will be sorely missed..

Amen to all of the above. We

Amen to all of the above. We will all miss his wonderful spirit and love of music and life.

God bless Uncle Lionel, there

God bless Uncle Lionel, there will be a beautiful new drum waiting for him in heaven

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