Legendary jazz pianist and teacher Ellis Marsalis Jr. died at the age of 85 due to complications of coronavirus.
He had passed away on Wednesday, reports usatoday.com.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Ellis Marsalis Jr.,” son Branford Marsalis said in a statement, saying his father was admitted to hospital on Saturday and “died peacefully this evening”.
“My dad was a giant of a musician and teacher, but an even greater father. He poured everything he had into making us the best of what we could be,” said Branford of the patriarch of New Orleans’ great musical family.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell marked Marsalis’ death with a statement posted on Twitter.
“Ellis Marsalis was a legend. He was the prototype of what we mean when we talk about New Orleans jazz. The love and the prayers of all of our people go out to his family, and to all of those whose lives he touched,” Cantrell wrote.
Marsalis was a New Orleans legend who had ended a three-decade run at New Orleans’ Snug Harbor on Frenchman Street in January.
Marsalis told the club’s proprietor late last year it had become too exhausting to play his two 75-minute sets every Friday evening at the club.
As for his family, four of Marsalis’ six sons are musicians: Wynton, a nine-time Grammy-winning trumpeter and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York; Branford, a saxophonist and musical director of the “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” in the 1990s; Delfeayo, a trombonist; and Jason, a drummer.