Ellis Marsalis Essentials

Ellis Marsalis Essentials

Ellis Marsalis was a piano sage with a modern, deeply swinging feel and an encompassing grasp of jazz—qualities that he passed on not only to his renowned sons Wynton and Branford Marsalis, but to generations of musicians from his native New Orleans, including Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick, Jr., and many more. An NEA Jazz Master and an educational institution unto himself, he was no less brilliant a performer: In the deep and dark stirrings of his rendition of Duke Ellington’s 1928 landmark “The Mooche,” from his 1999 solo piano release Duke in Blue, he found a personal path from stride and boogie to post-bop, reframing Ellingtonia in all its historical richness. Joining Branford for the 1996 duo set Loved Ones, he brought a poetic touch to “Maria” from West Side Story, the standard “Stella by Starlight,” and other gems. As a composer, his depth is on full display on 2018’s The Ellis Marsalis Quintet Plays the Music of Ellis Marsalis. “He went out the way he lived,” tweeted Wynton Marsalis after his father’s death at 85 on April 1, 2020 from COVID-19-related issues. “Embracing reality.”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada