The New Orleans pianist and educator, Ellis Marsalis Jr has died from the complications of Covid-19. He was 85
His death was announced in tweets from New Orleans Mayor LaToya Campbell and Jazz at Lincoln Center, where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director.
Legendary jazz musician was the prototype of what we mean when we talk about New Orleans jazz….He spent decades as a working musician and teacher in New Orleans before his eldest sons, Wynton and Branford, who embodied a fresh-faced revival of traditional jazz, gained national fame in the early 1980s.
Mr. Marsalis has six sons, and four of them followed in his musical footsteps, each establishing their own lasting careers in the jazz industry.
Ellis Louis Marsalis, Jr., was born on Nov. 14, 1934. He graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans with a BA in music education and taught at the first full-time public arts high school in New Orleans, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
His music students included Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Harry Connick, Jr., and four of his sons: Wynton, Branford, Delfayo and Jason Marsalis.