Ellis Marsalis Jr.

  (Redirected from Ellis Marsalis, Jr)

Ellis Louis Marsalis Jr.[1] (born November 14, 1934) is an American jazz pianist and educator. Active since the late 1940s, Marsalis came to greater attention in the 1980s and 1990s as the patriarch of a musical family, with sons Branford Marsalis and Wynton Marsalis rising to international acclaim.

Ellis Marsalis Jr.
Ellis Marsalis Jr. performing on June 6, 2004
Background information
Birth nameEllis Louis Marsalis Jr.
Born (1934-11-14) November 14, 1934 (age 85)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
GenresJazz, classical
Occupation(s)Musician, educator
Years active1949–present
LabelsElm, Blue Note, Columbia, Sony
Associated actsWynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis

Life and careerEdit

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Marsalis is the son of Florence (née Robertson) and Ellis Marsalis Sr., a businessman and social activist.[2] He and his wife Delores Ferdinand have six sons: Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis III (1964), Delfeayo Marsalis, Mboya Kinyatta Marsalis (1971), and Jason Marsalis. Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason are also jazz musicians. Ellis III is a poet, photographer, and network engineer

Marsalis played saxophone but moved to piano in high school. In the 1950s and '60s he worked with Ed Blackwell, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, and Al Hirt. During the 1970s he taught at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. His students have included Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr., Donald Harrison, Kent Jordan, Marlon Jordan, and Nicholas Payton.[3]

Though he has recorded almost twenty of his own albums, and was featured on many discs with such musicians as David "Fathead" Newman, Eddie Harris, Marcus Roberts, and Courtney Pine, he shunned the spotlight to focus on teaching. Marsalis's didactic approach, combined with an interest in philosophy, encourages his students to make discoveries in music on their own, through experiment and very careful listening.

As a leading educator at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the University of New Orleans, and Xavier University of Louisiana, Ellis has influenced the careers of countless musicians, including Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr., Nicholas Payton; as well as his four musician sons: Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason. In May, 2007, Marsalis received an honorary doctorate from Tulane University for his contributions to jazz and musical education.

On December 7, 2008, Ellis Marsalis was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music at Musicians' Village in New Orleans is named in honor of Ellis Marsalis. In 2010, The Marsalis Family released a live album titled Music Redeems which was recorded at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC as part of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival. All proceeds from the sale of the album go directly to the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music.

Marsalis and his sons are group recipients of the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Award.[4]

Marsalis is a Brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity, initiated into Delta Epsilon Chapter (University of Louisiana-Lafayette) in 1965. In 2015 Sinfonia announced that Marsalis has been named Sinfonia's 24th Man of Music, the highest honor given by the fraternity to a member, for advancing the cause of music in America through performance, composition or any other musical activity.


As leaderEdit

  • 1985 Syndrome
  • 1985 Homecoming with Eddie Harris (Spindletop)
  • 1986 Piano in E
  • 1989 A Night at Snug Harbor, New Orleans (Somethin' Else)
  • 1990 Ellis Marsalis Trio (Blue Note)
  • 1991 Jazzy Wonderland (Columbia)
  • 1991 Heart of Gold (Columbia)
  • 1993 Whistle Stop (Columbia)
  • 1994 Joe Cool's Blues with Wynton Marsalis (Columbia)
  • 1996 Loved Ones with Branford Marsalis (Columbia)[5]
  • 1998 Twelve's It (Sony)
  • 1999 Duke in Blue (Sony)
  • 2000 Afternoon Session (Music in the Vines/Sonoma Jazz)
  • 2005 Ruminations in New York
  • 2008 An Open Letter to Thelonious (Elm)
  • 2011 A New Orleans Christmas Carol (Elm)
  • 2012 Pure Pleasure for the Piano with Makoto Ozone (ECM)
  • 2013 On the First Occasion (Elm)
  • 2017 Live at Jazzfest 2017[6]
  • 2018 The Ellis Marsalis Quintet Plays the Music of Ellis Marsalis[7]

As sideman or guestEdit

With American Jazz Quintet

  • 1987 From Bad to Badder
  • 1996 In the Beginning

With Branford Marsalis

With Delfeayo Marsalis

  • 1996 Musashi
  • 2014 The Last Southern Gentlemen

With Wynton Marsalis

With Marsalis Family

  • 2002 Marsalis Family: A Jazz Celebration[8]
  • 2010 Music Redeems

With Irvin Mayfield

With Kermit Ruffins

  • 1992 World on a String
  • 1996 Hold on Tight

With Dave Young

  • 1995 Two by Two
  • 1996 Two by Two Vol. 2
  • 1996 Side by Side Vol. 3

With others

With othersEdit


  1. ^ Handy, D.A. (1999). Jazz Man's Journey: A Biography of Ellis Louis Marsalis, Jr. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9781578860067. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  2. ^ "Ancestry of Wynton Marsalis". wargs.com. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Ellis Marsalis". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  4. ^ National Endowment for the Arts (June 24, 2010). "National Endowment for the Arts Announces the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters". Washington: National Endowment for the Arts. Archived from the original on September 17, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010. For the first time in the program's 29-year history, in addition to four individual awards, the NEA will present a group award to the Marsalis family, New Orleans' venerable first family of jazz.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-02-10. Retrieved 2006-02-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Ellis Marsalis | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  7. ^ cd purchased at 2019 performance in NOLA
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-22. Retrieved 2006-05-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Ellis Marsalis | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  10. ^ Chris Stewart. "62-0509a". cannonballjazz.com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2015.

External linksEdit