ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Ellis the big Daddy / is really loose, but only in the fingers

and it is moving to hear Jason, / who should be bowed down by tradition




 Ellis Marsalis albums:

Duke in Blue  /  Loved Ones  /  Joe Cool’s Blues  /  The Marsalis Family  / Piano in E-Solo Piano  / Heart of Gold

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Ellis L. Marsalis, Jr.

Ellis Marsalis, born November 14, 1934, is New Orleans’s premier modern jazz pianist. He began his 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  became 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 Master’s of Music Education.

Marsalis’ teaching career flowered 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 Hannry Connick, Jr. have since attained worldwide acclaim with recording contracts on major labels. Youngest son Jason has emerged as an important drummer on the local and national music scene. He is both a bandleader and frequently holds 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.

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Ellis Marsalis Duke in Blue

Columbia 1999  Time: 59  Rating: * * * *

Musicians: Ellis Marsalis (solo piano)



The Moochie

Prelude to a Kiss

Squatty Roo

Sophisticated Lady

Just Squeeze Me

Mood Indigo


Come Sunday

Creole Love Call

Reflections in D

Drop Me off in Harlem



          ZZ I’m Beginning to See the Light

          Do Nothin’ Til You Hear from Me

          In a Mellow Tone, Duke in Blue.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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updated 16 May 2011



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Related files:  Ellis Marsalis on Wednesday