NEW ORLEANS – One of the sons of New Orleans jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr. says the patriarch of the New Orleans clan that includes famed musician sons Wynton and Branford has died after battling pneumonia brought on by COVID-19. The jazz patriarch was 85.
Ellis Marsalis III said Wednesday his father had been hospitalized while battling the new coronavirus. The elder Marsalis opted to stay in New Orleans most of his career, gaining wider national prominence once his sons became famous.
Four of his six sons are musicians: Wynton, the trumpeter, is America’s most prominent jazz spokesman as artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.