Travis Hill was the grandson of Jessie Hill (of “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” fame) and a member of the Andrews-Lastie family, which includes Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews. Hill and Andrews grew up in Treme in the 1990s, where they played their horns together.
As a teenager, Hill pleaded to an armed robbery charge and spent more than eight years in prison. He got out in 2011 and devoted himself to music, forming a band of his own called Trumpet Black and the Heart Attacks. Two years later, though, his comeback ended in a bewildering tragedy. After having some dental work done, he flew to Tokyo to perform and developed an infection in a tooth. It spread to his heart a couple of days later and took his life at age 28.
This mural was painted by Brandon “BMike” Odums little more than a week after Hill’s death in 2015. Odums, who knew Hill, based the image on a photo by Gus Bennett. He chose this site for it because it was here in the Sixth Ward where Hill grew up playing in second line parades.
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Travis "Trumpet Hill" Black Live at Vaughan's June 5, 2014.
Artist Brandan Odums discusses his two-story tribute to Travis "Trumpet Black" Hill in Treme.
Travis "Trumpet Black" Hill's Funeral in New Orleans in 2015.