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Ellis L. Marsalis Jr.: A Brief Bio and Discography

Ellis Marsalis is regarded by many as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans. Born on November 14, 1934, he began formal studies at the Xavier University junior school of music at age eleven. After high school Marsalis enrolled at Dillard University(New Orleans) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education.

After a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps, Marsalis returned to New Orleans and married New Orleanian Dolores Ferdinand who bore him six sons; Branford, Wynton, Ellis III, Delfeayo, Mboya and Jason.

Marsalis would eventually become New Orleans' leading Jazz educator. He became a lecturer at Xavier University and an adjunct teacher at Loyola University. Marsalis enrolled in the graduate program at Loyola University and graduated with a Masters of Music Education.

Marsalis' teaching career would flower at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). Many of his former students are professional musicians locally as well as internationally. Three of his six sons, Branford, Wynton and Delfeayo as well as trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Donald Harrison and pianist Harry Connick, Jr have since attained worldwide acclaim with recording contracts on major labels. Youngest son Jason is emerging as an important drummer on the local and national music scene.He is both a bandleader and frequently holds the drum chair in the Marcus Roberts ensembles.

Marsalis has made numerous appearances on television's Today show, the Tonight show with both Carson and Leno and on the Arsenio Hall Show.

The winner of several awards, Marsalis and New Orleans singer/actress Joanne Creighton(AKA Lady BJ) shared honors at the 1984 Ace Awards for the best single music program on cable television. In 1986 Marsalis accepted a position at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond,Va) as Coordinator of Jazz Studies. Three years later he would return to New Orleans to occupy a chair endowed by the Coca Cola company and become Director of the Jazz Studies Division at the University of New Orleans.

In 1989 Marsalis was honored by Dillard University, the site of his undergraduate studies, with an honorary Doctorate of Music.

Marsalis continues to occupy the Coca Cola Jazz Chair as Director of the Jazz Studies Division at the University of New Orleans.

DISCOGRAPHY

TITLE LABEL YEAR

Monkey Puzzle AFO 1963
Piano Reflections ELM 1978
Father and Sons CBS 1982
Syndrome ELM 1983
Homecoming SPINDLETOP 1985
The New Orleans Music ROUNDER 1988
A Night at Snug Harbor SOMETHIN' ELSE 1989
Ellis Marsalis Trio SOMETHIN' ELSE 1990
Piano in E ROUNDER RECORDS 1991
The Classic Ellis Marsalis AFO(reissue of Monkey Puzzle on CD) 1991
Heart of Gold CBS-SONY 1992
Whistle Stop CBS-SONY 1994
Loved Ones CBS-SONY 1995

W/ED BLACKWELL

Boogie Live...1958 AFO 1994

W/NAT ADDERLY

In The Bag(1962) JAZZLAND 1991

W/HERITAGE HALL

Cookin! GHB Records 1992

W/ COURTNEY PINE

The Vision's Tale Antilles 1989

W/DAVID NEWMAN

Return to Wide Open Spaces Amazing 1990

W/THE A J Q

From Bad to Badder Black Saint 1987

W/DERRICK SHEZBIE

Spodie's Back QUEST 1994

W/BRANFORD MARSALIS

Royal Garden Blues CBS-SONY 1986

W/STEPHEN MASAKOWSKI

Friends Nebula 1986

W/WYNTON MARSALIS

Joe Cool's Blues CBS-Sony 1995
Standards Vol. 3: "The Resolution of Romance" CBS-Sony 1990

CHRISTMAS ALBUM

A Jazzy Wonderland CBS-Sony 1990

W/MARCUS ROBERTS

As Serenity Approaches RCA Novus 1992

W/KERMIT RUFFINS

World on a String Justice Records 1993
Hold On Tight Justice Records 1996

W/WESSEL ANDERSON

The Ways of Warm Daddy Atlantic Jazz 1995

W/ PRESERVATION HALL

In The Sweet Bye & Bye SONY 1995

W/DELFEAYO MARSALIS

Musashi King Record Co. 1996

 

VIDEO PROJECTS

 

The Seductress with Wynton Marsalis 1990

King Midas with Yo Yo Ma 1991

Stardust with Harry Connick, Jr 1992


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Louisiana Music Commission
3330 N. Causeway Blvd. Suite 438
Metairie LA 70002
Phone: 504-838-5600 Fax: 504-838-5280
Email: lmc@louisianamusic.org