View Full Version : RIP: Uncle Lionel Batiste

07-09-2012, 07:38 PM

We've just lost our favorite Uncle. Possibly the most beloved man in New Orleans is gone.

Here's the article from the Times-Picayune:


On our website, we have a page called "Gumbo" where we feature various players of 4-string instruments. I would stretch the limits there - I got Uncle Lionel on the page because of the beautiful Tenor Guitar on his one solo album. The link to our "pagelette" is here:


The song you can download there is off an excellent album that features a bunch of old standards. Some are ukulele standards as well (On a Coconut Island).

I am really going to miss Uncle, as we all will here. So many times, I would run into him - early on, dancing in the Quarter, then in later years strolling down Frenchman Street. He'd call me "nephew", just like every other fellow whose name he couldn't remember, and always enjoyed talking about whatever topic might be on your mind (he knew how to play an ukulele - or at least he said he did).

This has been a tough year - too many funerals. This one, however, will be different. If you know anything about our Jazz Funerals here, it will be solemn, with slow dirges on the way to the cemetary, but second line dancing all the way back. Sadness for our loss - then celebration for Uncle Lionel in his peace and glory.

I know of no other man who lived a better life.