Ellis Marsalis

Newvelle Records

Ellis Marsalis was in fine spirits, relaxed and ready, as he settled in behind the Steinway B at Esplanade Studios earlier this year.

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation has created the Louis Armstrong Emergency Fund for Jazz Musicians to provide much needed support to vocalists and instrumentalists in the New York metropolitan area.

Jonathan Chimene / WBGO

We’ve been losing some of our heroes. Their music lives on.

Ellis Marsalis, jazz pianist, educator, and patriarch of the Marsalis family, has died at the age of 85. His death was announced in tweets from New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Jazz at Lincoln Center, where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director.

He reportedly went into the hospital over the weekend with symptoms of pneumonia. The New York Times reports that his son Branford says the cause of death was complications from COVID-19.