March 4, 1977 |
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Associated acts||Marsalis Family, Los Hombres Calientes, Marcus Roberts|
Marsalis was born in New Orleans, the son of Dolores (née Ferdinand) and Ellis Louis Marsalis, Jr., a pianist and music professor. His brothers are Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis III (1964), Delfeayo Marsalis, and Mboya Kinyatta (1971). Branford, Wynton, and Delfeayo are also jazz musicians.
Marsalis studied percussion at Loyola University New Orleans. He worked as a sideman in mainstream jazz, funk, and jazz fusion groups; a Brazilian percussion ensemble (Casa Samba); and a Celtic music group. He introduced percussionist Bill Summers to trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, and they founded Los Hombres Calientes. Marsalis then joined pianist Marcus Roberts. He has also played with John Ellis, Michael White, Shannon Powell, and the Marsalis family. He and his brothers and their father were named NEA Jazz Masters. He is featured in Tradition Is a Temple, a documentary about New Orleans.
In 2009, Marsalis released his first album as a leader on vibraphone, entitled Music Update. The album received 4.5 out of 5 stars in DownBeat magazine. In The New York Times Ben Ratliff said that Marsalis was "an excellent musician trying out something risky without embarrassment."
- The Marsalis Family – Music Redeems (Marsalis Music)
- Roland Guerin – You Don't Have to See It to Believe It (Half Note)
- John Ellis – Roots, Branches & Leaves (Fresh Sound)
- The Marsalis Family – A Jazz Celebration (Marsalis/Rounder)
- The Ellis Marsalis Trio – Twelve's It (Columbia)
- David Morgan Trio – Live at the Blue Note (Half Note)
- Los Hombres Calientes – Los Hombres Calientes (Basin Street)
- Los Hombres Calientes – Vol. 2 (Basin Street)
- Marcus Roberts Trio – In Honor of Duke (Columbia)
- Stephen Riley – El Gaucho (SteepleChase, 2010)
- Stated on Finding Your Roots, PBS, March 25, 2012
- 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. 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.
- Ratliff, Ben (July 22, 2009). "Offbeat, Nabokovian and West Coast Hip". The New York Times.
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