Beginning tonight (July 11, 2012), at least three events are already planned to celebrate the life of brass band legend “Uncle” Lionel Batiste. As of this morning, funeral arrangements are incomplete and nothing has been formally announced by his family.
I am purely speculating, but considering that one of the events is fundraiser to raise money to defray funeral expenses and a bank account has been set up to accept donations, the service may not place until next weekend.
Tonight (7/11), Batiste’s group, the Tremé Brass Band, regular Wednesday night gig at the Candlelight Lounge (pictured above with mural of Batiste and Benny Jones) will be a tribute to “Uncle.” The bar, which is located at 1925 N. Robertson Street, is one of the last remaining live music venues in the Tremé neighborhood.
On Friday afternoon at 5 PM, a second line parade will leave from Tuba Fats Square, which is located right next to the Candlelight Lounge. It will wind around the historic Sixth Ward neighborhood, most likely pausing at spots that were important in the life of Batiste, before ending up at Sweet Lorraine’s jazz club on St. Claude Avenue.
The tributes will continue at 7 PM at Sweet Lorraine’s. Kermit Ruffins, Kid Merv, Deacon John, and numerous other musicians will perform to raise money for the Uncle Lionel Batiste Memorial Fund. There is a $25 minimum donation.
Donations to the fund can also be directed to any branch of Liberty Bank and Trust. If you have any questions please contact Glenda McKinley at 504-915-1552