Jazz musician Lionel Batiste has passed away at the age of 81.
He died in Louisiana on Sunday (08Jul12) after a long battle with ill health, according to the Associated Press.
A statement from the iconic vocalist/bass drummer's daughter Karen Williams reads, "It is with deep sadness that we inform the New Orleans community of the passing of our beloved 'Uncle Lionel' this morning at Ochsner Hospital. He was surrounded by his family and loved ones and transitioned peacefully. Uncle Lionel was 80 years old. The family wishes to extend its deep gratitude for the kindness and love shown during his illness."
Batiste was perhaps best known as the assistant leader of the legendary New Orleans marching band Treme Brass Band, which formed in 1995.
He famously used his drum to stay afloat after the city was devastated by floods in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.