Ellis Marsalis, Jr.

Date of Birth


Date of Death


Last Resided in

New Orleans, Louisiana


Ellis Marsalis, Jr was one of the’ most prominent Jazz musicians and teachers in New Orleans. He was considered ‘the prototype of what we mean when we talk about New Orleans jazz.’ His commitment to jazz followed an early devotion to midcentury bebop. In grade school the clarinet not the piano was Ellis’ instrument of choice. He and his wife Delores Ferdinand Marsalis created one of New Orleans greatest musical families with six sons, four of whom followed in his jazz greats footsteps….Wynton, Branford, Delfaeo, and Jason. Ellis himself had some pretty big shoes to fill, his father Elllis Marsalis was a prominent black politician and business owner with a hotel that provided Blacks a place to sleep over while traveling the country. The guest list reflected the names of Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ray Charles and Ike and Tina Turner.
Ellis, was hospitalized with pneumonia and COVID19 symptoms, his test results were pending. On April 1, 2020 he succumbed to the deadly virus. What would’ve been one of the biggest celebration of life in the city’s history was silenced by the coronavirus. He was laid to rest in an unpublicized ceremony with family members wearing masks and standing six feet apart.

May you rest in peace Ellis Marsalis, Jr.