Ellis Marsalis, Jr.
Jazz Educator of the Year Award
We are pleased to welcome nominations for the
Ellis Marsalis, Jr. Jazz Educator of the Year Award.
This award recognizes an outstanding jazz educator at the
who represents the highest standards of teaching and whose results in the classroom have brought distinction to an institution and their students.
Eligibility Criteria for the Educator of the Year Nominees
- • A practicing music educator — currently advancing the artistic lives of students in the classroom
- • Minimum of 5 years teaching experience (jazz context; collegiate-level setting)
- • Demonstration of student-centered engagement
- • Nominee represents the highest standards of jazz teaching, and results in the classroom have brought distinction to nominee’s institution and students
Nomination Deadline: September 30, 11:59 p.m. (EST)
PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW AND CLICK ‘SUBMIT’
ABOUT ELLIS MARSALIS, JR.
This prestigious award is named after legendary jazz educator Ellis Marsalis, Jr., a New Orleans jazz pianist whose focus was on bebop and modern jazz. In the 1960s, he played with several notable modernist musicians, including saxophonist Harold Battiste and drummer Ed Blackwell, as well as with the Adderley brothers when they came through town. He employed his trad chops, accompanying trumpeter Al Hirt in the ’60s and ’70s and gigging regularly at his New Orleans club.
Marsalis earned his master’s degree in music education from Loyola University in 1974, and that same year became the first jazz teacher at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. It was then that his reputation began to spread more widely. Connick, Blanchard, and his own sons were among his students; countless others came through his classroom, now known as the Ellis Marsalis Jr. Jazz Studio.
In 1986, as his sons and other students became jazz phenomena, Marsalis quit New Orleans for a job at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. In 1989, he returned to New Orleans to found the jazz studies program at the University of New Orleans, where he remained until his retirement in 2001. You could also find him at a Friday night gig at the Frenchmen Street jazz club Snug Harbor—which became a 30-year residency that ended in December 2019.