Ellis Marsalis' 80th Birthday Concert A pianist who brought bebop to New Orleans and an educator to generations of music students, the elder Marsalis has become a father figure of modern jazz to more than just his famous sons.

Ellis Marsalis celebrates his 80th birthday in concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

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Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Ellis Marsalis celebrates his 80th birthday in concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Ellis Marsalis Quartet In Concert

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Ellis Marsalis is a father figure of modern jazz — in quite a few ways. As a pianist, he was among the first generation of musicians to bring bebop to New Orleans, and even worked with Ornette Coleman before the saxophonist recorded his landmarks of free jazz. As an educator, many great musicians came through Marsalis' tutelage, whether in New Orleans' arts high school or at various university programs. And of course, he is also the actual father of several exceptional musicians named Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis.

He turned 80 in November, and to celebrate, Jazz at Lincoln Center — where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director — hosted him and his band. Jazz Night In America fetes Ellis Marsalis with a special birthday performance from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.

Set List

  • "Monkey Puzzle" (James Black)
  • "Homecoming" (Ellis Marsalis)
  • "Bloomdido" (Charlie Parker)
  • "Beautiful Old Ladies" (Harold Battiste)
  • "Sweet Georgia Brown" (Bernie/Pinkard)
  • "Creole Love Call" (Duke Ellington)
  • "Happy Birthday" [encore with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra]

Personnel

Ellis Marsalis, piano; Derek Douget, saxophones; Jason Stewart, bass; Herlin Riley, drums.

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