NPR logo Treme Brass Band: Time on My Hands

Treme Brass Band: Time on My Hands

The bass drum of the Treme Brass Band, commanded by Uncle Lionel Batiste. Josh Jackson hide caption

toggle caption Josh Jackson

The bass drum of the Treme Brass Band, commanded by Uncle Lionel Batiste.

Josh Jackson

HBO's new dramatic series, Treme, must have a glow effect. The pilot episode prominently featured the Treme Brass Band, and that has likely introduced the band to a whole new audience.

I say this because Economy Hall was uncharacteristically packed by noon. People were there to see the largest contingency of the Treme Brass Band I have witnessed in some time. More than a dozen musicians were playing the traditional music of New Orleans. People were second-lining through the aisles, and joy was abundant. The skies were beginning to clear.

The bass drummer, Uncle Lionel Batiste, had plenty of time on his hands. He willingly shared it with those in attendance while the band swelled in a polyphonic exuberance.

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