About the Ellis and Dolores Marsalis Legacy Campaign

“These are important times in the life of Jazz. While we are proud of the rich heritage and achievement of our past, it is to the future that we look for our greatest growth.” – Ellis Marsalis

The Ellis & Dolores Marsalis Legacy Campaign at Marshall University is named for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis and his late wife Dolores. The campaign—now in its first $600,000 phase—celebrates the history and accomplishments of “One of the most renowned music educators in the U.S.” - (NPR).

As a player, bandleader, and educator, Ellis Marsalis embodies the spirit of jazz. His sons Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason Marsalis were among his most prominent students, having achieved international fame as performers, composers, and ambassadors for the music. Ellis Marsalis also taught and mentored Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr., and Nicholas Payton, among many others. Marshall University is honoring this renowned jazz icon and preserving his enormous contribution with an international jazz piano competition and an international jazz festival.