April 01, 2020
Statement of Branford Marsalis on the Passing of His Father
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Ellis Marsalis Jr., as a result of complications from the Coronavirus. He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday and died peacefully this evening.
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.
And to quote my friend and Harvard Law Professor David Wilkins who just sent me the following text:
“We can all marvel at the sheer audacity of a man who believed he could teach his black boys to be excellent in a world that denied that very possibility, and then watch them go on to redefine what excellence means for all time.”