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Tuba Player Kerwin James Dies at 35

Noted tuba player Kerwin James, member of the New Birth Brass Band and younger brother to Philip and Keith Frazier of the Rebirth Brass Band, died Friday in a Houston hospital. James, 35, had been in a coma since the summer of 2006, when he suffered a stroke during a performance.

James, a native of the Treme neighborhood in New Orleans, was known for his dedication and devotion to the city after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Considered by bandleader Joe Torregano as “the heir to the throne of the late, great Anthony ‘Tuba Fats’ Lacen,” James was also known for his impressive performances at local events such as the French Quarter Festival.

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