File:Edward McMichael Seahawks NFCChamps 20060122 094.jpg

Edward Scott McMichael (March 15, 1955 – November 3, 2008[1]), also known as the Tuba Man, was an American tubist who became well known in Seattle for busking outside of the city's various sports and performing arts venues during the 1990s and 2000s.[2] McMichael played outside the Kingdome, KeyArena, McCaw Hall, Safeco Field, and Qwest Field, among other venues.

McMichael was known for playing songs appropriate for the climate of the venue where he was playing, such as "Happy Days Are Here Again" during the Seattle Mariners' successful 1995 season; for adapting mainstream rock and roll songs to the tuba; and for wearing funny, often colorful hats while he played.

Early lifeEdit

McMichael graduated in the mid-1970s from King's Garden High School. He played in the band at North Seattle Community College, and in the Seattle Youth Symphony. He also played in the Bellevue Philharmonic, Everett Symphony and Cascade Symphony. A Seattle Youth Symphony scholarship will be established in McMichael's name.[3]

Death Edit

According to police, on October 25, 2008, a group of youths beat and robbed McMichael near Seattle Center just after midnight. The attackers punched and kicked McMichael as he lay on the ground in the fetal position. He was treated at a hospital, but died November 3, probably the result of "homicidal violence."

Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Robert Jamieson wrote a front page story about McMichael's life and death, while KOMO 1000 commentators Ken Schram and John Carlson interrupted 2008 election coverage to organize a memorial fund for McMichael. Seattle Seahawks officials helped to organize a November 12, 2008 public memorial at Qwest Field Events Center that was attended by 1,500 people.[4]

Three teenagers—Kenneth Kelly, Billy Chambers, and Ja'Mari Jones—were sentenced to detention in connection with the death of McMichael.[1]. One was sentenced to serve up to 36 weeks, and the other two were sentenced to serve up to 72 weeks, including the time already spent in custody (about 24 weeks).[5] The two other suspects have not been found and their whereabouts are unknown. In regard to the two at-large suspects, the Seattle Police Department's morning press release stated: "Unfortunately, the only description that we have is that the suspects were black males in their mid-teens."[6]

The webmaster of The Tuba Man website created and maintains this site in honor of McMichael's memory. It celebrates the legacy of his music, and also has links to related local events. Terry Henderson, local organizer of the April 14, 2009 Safeco Field event, offered locals an opportunity to get involved.



  1. 1.0 1.1 "More charges filed in 'Tuba Man' case" Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 10, 2008.
  2. Yardley, William (November 13, 2008). "Seattle Bids Tuba Man a Sad Goodbye". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-15. "Edward Scott McMichael was a busker with perfect pitch and an improbable horn whom most people in this city knew by another name, Tuba Man."
  3. Remembering Seattle's 'Tuba Man', November 10, 2008.
  4. 1,500 honor slain Tuba Man. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 12, 2008.
  5. Three teens sentenced in death of Seattle's "Tuba Man"
  6. "Well-known street musician killed" The News Tribune, November 4, 2008.

External linksEdit