NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Ellis Marsalis Jr., the jazz pianist, teacher and patriarch of a New Orleans musical clan, died late Wednesday from pneumonia brought on by the new coronavirus, leaving six sons and a deep legacy. He was 85.
"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," Branford said.
Four of the jazz patriarch's six sons are musicians: Wynton, a Pulitzer- and Grammy-winning trumpeter, is America's most prominent jazz spokesman as artistic director of jazz at New York's Lincoln Center. Branford, a saxophonist, has won three Grammies, led The Tonight Show band and toured with Sting. Delfeayo, a trombonist, is a prominent recording producer and performer.