Anthony “Tuba Fats” Lacen, brass band tuba player who appeared in movies and commercials, died Jan. 11 at his New Orleans home of an apparent heart attack. He was 53.
Lacen is credited with helping jazz banjoist Danny Barker rekindle interest in brass band jazz. He also helped modernize the music, playing tuba solos as well as providing rhythmic accompaniment.
The animated Lacen performed with Sweet Emma, Kid Thomas and other bandleaders at New Orleans’ Preservation Hall as well as with the Doc Paulin, Gibson, Olympia, Onward and Tuxedo brass bands.
Lacen, a founding member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, toured the globe as both a player and a bandleader. His band Tuba Fats & the Chosen Few regularly played concerts at Jackson Square.