Modern Jazz Pianist Ellis Marsalis Quintet
Regarded by many as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans, the father and guiding spirit of America's first family of jazz.
Modern Jazz Pianist Ellis Marsalis
Regarded by many as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans, Ellis Marsalis began formal music studies at the Xavier University junior school of music at age 11. After high school, Marsalis enrolled in Dillard University (New Orleans) as a clarinet major. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education in 1955. Marsalis spent the next year working as an assistant manager in his father’s motel business.
The following year, Marsalis then joined the U.S. Marine Corps. While stationed in southern California, he began honing his skills as a pianist on a television show entitled “Dress Blues” and a radio show called “Leatherneck Songbook.” Both shows were sponsored by the Marine Corps. After completing a stint in the Marine Corps, Marsalis returned to New Orleans and married Dolores Ferdinand, and together they had six wonderful children - Branford, Wynton, Ellis III, Delfeayo, Miboya, and Jason.