Lionel Batiste has died. You may not know him by name, but if you're a fan of the HBO series “Treme”, you're familiar with his work.

Lionel was the singer, bass drummer and assistant leader of the Treme Brass Band.

He died Sunday, at age 81. Lionel had reportedly been ill for about a month.  He was known as “Uncle Lionel” and had been with the band since  1995. Clarinet player Michael White says Batiste’s big drum saved his life during Hurricane Katrina.  White says Batiste “saved himself by floating out on top of his bass drum.”