Jason Marsalis

Jason Marsalis (born March 4, 1977) is an American jazz drummer and member of the Marsalis family of musicians. He is the youngest son of Dolores Ferdinand Marsalis and the late Ellis Marsalis, Jr.

Jason Marsalis
Marsalis at SatchmoFest in 2010
Marsalis at SatchmoFest in 2010
Background information
Born (1977-03-04) March 4, 1977 (age 45)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
InstrumentsDrums, vibraphone
LabelsBasin Street

Musical careerEdit

Marsalis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Dolores (née Ferdinand) and Ellis Louis Marsalis, Jr., a pianist and music professor.[1] His brothers are Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis III (1964), Delfeayo Marsalis, and Mboya Kenyatta (1971). Branford, Wynton, and Delfeayo are also jazz musicians.

Marsalis studied percussion at Loyola University New Orleans. He worked as a sideman in mainstream jazz, funk, and jazz fusion groups; a Brazilian percussion ensemble (Casa Samba); and a Celtic music group. He introduced percussionist Bill Summers to trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, and they founded Los Hombres Calientes. Marsalis then joined pianist Marcus Roberts. Marsalis has also played with John Ellis, Michael White, Shannon Powell, and the Marsalis family. He and his brothers and their father were named NEA Jazz Masters.[2] He is one of the artists featured in Tradition Is a Temple, a 2013 documentary film about New Orleans.

In 2009, Marsalis released his first album as a leader on vibraphone, entitled Music Update. The album received 4.5 out of 5 stars in DownBeat magazine. Writing in The New York Times, critic Ben Ratliff said that Marsalis was "an excellent musician trying out something risky without embarrassment."[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Marsalis was raised Catholic.[4]

Selected discographyEdit

Jason Marsalis
Jason Marsalis, Aarhus, Denmark (2009)

As leaderEdit

  • Jason Marsalis and the 21st Century Trad Band - Melody Reimagined:book 1 (Basin Street Records - 2017)
  • Heirs Of The Crescent City (ELM-Records - 2016)
  • Music Update (ELM)
  • The Year of the Drummer (Basin Street)
  • Music in Motion (Basin Street)

As sidemanEdit


  1. ^ Stated on Finding Your Roots, PBS, March 25, 2012
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Ratliff, Ben (July 22, 2009). "Even a Birthday Cake Is Hardly a Distraction". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  4. ^ Bordelon, Christine (2020-01-16). "Ellis Marsalis influenced many of today's artists". Clarion Herald. Retrieved 2020-12-03.

External linksEdit