Jazz Patriarch and Educator Ellis Marsalis has died at 85
Date Posted: 2020-04-04
reprinted from Syncopated Times online
Lew Shaw | April 2, 2020 |The Final Chorus
Ellis Marsalis, Jr., New Orleans, pianist, educator, NEA Jazz Master and the patriarch of a musical family, succumbed to the Covid-19 coronavirus on April 1st. He was 85.
Ellis Marsalis began his musical career as a tenor saxophonist, but switched to the piano in high school. Beginning his professional career over 50 years ago, he was one of the few New Orleans musicians who did not specialize in Dixieland or rhythm-and-blues, preferring to play with fellow modernists like Cannonball and Nat Adderley.
Though recording almost 20 of his own albums along the way he shunned the spotlight to focus on teaching. His didactic approach, combined with an interest in philosophy, encouraged his students to make discoveries in music on their own through experimentation and careful listening.
As a leading educator at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the University of New Orleans, and Xavier University, he influenced the careers of countless musicians, including Harry Connick, Jr., Terence Blanchard, and Nicholas Payton as well as his four musical sons Wynton, Jason, Delfeayo, and Branford.
He received an honorary doctorate from Tulane University and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2008. The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music at Musicians’ Village in New Orleans is named in his honor. He could still be heard performing with his quintet at the Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro on Frenchmen Street.
Lucien Barbarin (1956-2020)
Trombonist for Preservation Hall and Harry Connick Jr., dies at 63.
Ginger Baker (1939-2019)
Peter Edward 'Ginger' Baker was an English drummer known the world for his work with 1960s jazz and rock bands Cream and Blind Faith as well as his later work with African poly-rhythms and collaborations with Fela Kuti and Afro Beat music.
Marlene VerPlanck (1933-2018)
Marlene VerPlanck, who recorded 24 albums for Audiophile in a career that stretched sixty years back into the Swing Era, died January 14. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in November but continued to work until a few weeks ago even though the effort necessary to travel to the club and sing took everything out of her.
Wendell Eugene (1923-2017)
Trombonist Wendell Eugene, one of the last of New Orleans' Creole jazzmen, died October 12 at the age of 94.
Lionel Ferbos, the longest-tenured jazz trumpeter in New Orleans, dies at 103
Trumpeter Lionel Ferbos, who enjoyed a late-in-life celebrity as the oldest active jazz musician in New Orleans, died early Saturday, July 19. He celebrated his 103rd birthday two nights earlier, on July 17, at a party at the Palm Court Jazz Café, a favorite venue of his.
I Like (Ukulele) Ike - by Jon Pult
Clifton A. Edwards was born on June 14, 1895 in Hannibal, Missouri. He made hundreds of recordings over the course of his career...
Mat Domber, Arbors Records Founder, Dies
Label was launched in 1989 to preserve the sound of classic jazz
Happy 101st Birthday Lionel Ferbos
New Orleans native Lionel Ferbos has been playing the trumpet for well over seven decades. At 101-years-old on Tuesday, he'll perform at his birthday party!
UNCLE LIONEL R.I.P. (1931-2012)
One of New Orleans most favorite artists, Uncle Lionel Batiste, passed away Sunday morning, July 8. He was 81 years old and died after a short illness.
Carrie Smith (1925-2012)
Vocalist Carrie Smith, 86, died of cancer May 20 at the Booth Actors' Home, Englewood, NJ.
Joe Muranyi (1928-2012)
Clarinetist Joe Muranyi died of congestive heart failure in New York on April 30. Muranyi was best known as the clarinetist in the last version of Louis Armstrong's All-Stars.
We Mourn The Passing of Ernie Carson (1937-2012)
Cornetist Ernie Carson, one of the most prolific GHB/Jazzology artists, died January 9 in Portland OR.
Updated Postal Shipping Rates - Please Read!
We've made updates to our shipping rates and policies.
New Black Swan Label Sampler
Black Swan is the home of early rarities from the legendary Paramount label.
Jazzology is now on Facebook™
Follow us online at Facebook™ @ GHBJazzFoundation