Delfeayo Marsalis

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Delfeayo Marsalis
Delfeayo Marsalis - trombonist, composer, producer, educator and 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Award recipient.
Marsalis in 2010
Background information
Born (1965-07-28) July 28, 1965 (age 58)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, record producer, educator
LabelsTroubador Jass

Delfeayo Marsalis (/ˈdɛl f /; born July 28, 1965)[1] is an American jazz trombonist, record producer and educator.

Life and career[edit]

Marsalis was born in New Orleans, the son of Dolores (née Ferdinand) and Ellis Louis Marsalis, Jr., a pianist and music professor.[2] He is also the grandson of Ellis Marsalis, Sr., and the brother of Wynton Marsalis (trumpeter), Branford Marsalis (saxophonist), and Jason Marsalis (drummer). Delfeayo also has two brothers who are not musicians: Ellis Marsalis III (b. 1964) is a poet, photographer and computer networking specialist based in Baltimore, and Mboya Kenyatta (b. 1970), who has been diagnosed with autism and was the primary inspiration for Delfeayo's founding of the New Orleans-based Uptown Music Theatre. Formed in 2000, UMT has trained over 300 youth and staged eight original musicals, all of which are based upon the mission of "community unity".

Delfeayo has recorded 8 of his own albums and is known for his work as a producer of acoustic jazz recordings. Along with Tonight Show engineer Patrick Smith, Delfeayo coined a phrase that was primarily responsible for the shift in many jazz recordings from rock and roll production to the resurgence of acoustic recording. "To obtain more wood sound from the bass, this album recorded without usage of the dreaded bass direct" first appeared on brother Branford's Renaissance (Columbia, 1987), and became the single sentence to define the recorded quality of many acoustic jazz recordings since the late 1980s.[citation needed] He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and in 2004 received an MA in jazz performance from the University of Louisville.

Personal life[edit]

Marsalis was raised Catholic.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

National Endowment for the Arts[edit]

Marsalis, with his father and brothers, are group recipients of the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters Award.[4]

OffBeat's Best of The Beat Awards[edit]

Year Category Work nominated Result Ref.
2006 Producer of the Year Won [5]
2009 Best Trombonist Won [5]
2016 Best Contemporary Jazz Band or Performer Won [5]
Best Contemporary Jazz Album Make America Great Again! (with the Uptown Jazz Orchestra) Won [5]
2020 Best Contemporary Jazz Album Jazz Party (with the Uptown Jazz Orchestra) Won [5]
2023 Best Contemporary Jazz Album Uptown on Mardi Gras Day (with the Uptown Jazz Orchestra) Won [5]


As leader[edit]

Album cover for Pontius Pilate's Decision
  • Pontius Pilate's Decision (Novus, 1992)
  • Musashi (Evidence, 1996)
  • Minions Dominion (Troubadour Jass, 2006)
  • Sweet Thunder: Duke and Shak (Troubadour Jass, 2011)
  • The Last Southern Gentlemen (Troubadour Jass, 2014)
  • Make America Great Again (Troubadour Jass, 2016)
  • Kalamazoo (Troubadour Jass, 2017)[6]
  • Jazz Party (Troubadour Jass, 2020)

As sideman[edit]

With Branford Marsalis

  • 1992 I Heard You Twice the First Time
  • 1994 Buckshot LeFonque
  • 1997 Music Evolution
  • 2003 Romare Bearden Revealed

With others



  1. ^ "Louisiana Musician Birthdays". OffBeat Magazine. 2014-09-10. Archived from the original on 2024-02-27. Retrieved 2024-03-03.
  2. ^ "Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr.". Finding Your Roots. Season 1. Episode 1. March 25, 2012. PBS.
  3. ^ Bordelon, Christine (2020-01-16). "Ellis Marsalis influenced many of today's artists". Clarion Herald. Retrieved 2020-12-03.
  4. ^ National Endowment for the Arts (June 24, 2010). "National Endowment for the Arts Announces the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters". Washington: National Endowment for the Arts. Archived from the original on September 17, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010. For the first time in the program's 29-year history, in addition to four individual awards, the NEA will present a group award to the Marsalis family, New Orleans' venerable first family of jazz.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Best of the Beat Award Winners: Complete List". OffBeat Magazine. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2024-03-01.
  6. ^ "Delfeayo Marsalis | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Delfeayo Marsalis | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 October 2018.

External links[edit]