User Login

Login Access

Search the Collections

Ellis Marsalis (1996)

Louisiana Legends



Genre: Interview

Place Covered: New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1996-04-10

Duration: 00:27:08

Subjects: Marsalis, Ellis | JAZZ | Pianists | Marsalis, Wynton, 1961- | Marsalis, Branford | Marsalis, Delfeayo | Marsalis, Jason | New Orleans Center for Creative Arts/Riverfront | UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS | Carmichael, Hoagy, 1899-1981 | United States. Marine Corps. | Hirt, Al | Arts in education | Music


  • Heyer, Ashley Associate Producer
  • Eaglin, J. Carlos, II Producer
  • Eaglin, J. Carlos, II Director
  • Weill, Gus Interviewer
  • Marsalis, Ellis Interviewee
  • Fowler, Ken Producer


This episode of the series “Louisiana Legends” from April 10, 1996, features an interview with Ellis Marsalis conducted by Gus Weill. Marsalis is an influential jazz pianist from New Orleans and the father of fellow jazz musicians Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason Marsalis. He discusses: his service in the U.S. Marines; his family’s musical origins; the evolution of jazz and its reflection of American society; the impact of the Beatles’ first visit to America on jazz; Al Hirt giving his son Wynton his first trumpet; his son Wynton’s early years and recognizing his brilliant trumpet playing; his involvement with the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and his philosophy of developing the whole person; the musical careers of his sons Branford, Delfeayo and Jason; his son Mboya, who is autistic; his work with the Jazz Studies program at the University of New Orleans; and the lack of emphasis placed on the arts in the Louisiana school system. He also plays piano on “New Orleans” by Hoagy Carmichael, the song he feels most embodies New Orleans despite the fact that it was written by a man from Indiana.