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Lionel Batiste Passes

LIONEL BATISTE, 81, vocalist, bass drummer and assistant leader of the Treme Brass Band, and a fixture on the HBO series of the same name, died Sunday at the Ochsner Health System hospital just outside New Orleans. Known as “Uncle Lionel,” Batiste had been ill for about a month. The musician allegedly used his drum to stay afloat after Hurricane Katrina. It was in the late ’60s that Batiste began "second-lining"—dancing and strutting with a decorated umbrella to the band's music—acting as grand marshal for parades and jazz funerals. "He would bring joy and just New Orleans spirit... He made people feel good about themselves and about living," said fellow musician, clarinetist Michael White. Batiste's survivors include a daughter, Karen Williams. (7/10p)

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