AGENCIES, New Orleans: Jazz pianist and instructor, the legendary Ellis Marsalis Jr. passed away on Wednesday after contracting coronavirus. The native of New Orleans in USA, the musical hotspot of blues and jazz, was 85 years old.
His son Bradford Marsalis released a statement saying, “It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Ellis Marsalis Jr.” The musician was admitted to the hospital on Saturday.
“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,” continued his statement.
The mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, also released a statement about the musician’s death. He tweeted, “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.”
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.
📸: Chris Granger/New Orleans Advocate pic.twitter.com/yQTMk62wIm
— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) April 2, 2020
The pianist also came to be known as the patriarch of a musical family in New Orleans, with sons Branford and Wynton also achieving statures of competent musicianship themselves.
Another jazz musician, guitarist John “Bucky” Pizzarelli, also died of coronavirus, according to his family. He was 94.