Jazz Studies

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Ellis Marsalis Three-Day Residency

327-1The Marshall University Jazz Studies Program is proud to host Ellis Marsalis, the premiere modern jazz pianist of New Orleans and patriarch of the Marsalis family, for a three day residency.

After graduating from Dillard University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education, Ellis Marsalis honed his piano skills as a member of the Corps Four, a Marine jazz quartet that performed on television and radio shows. Husband to Delores, and father of six sons: Branford, Wynton, Ellis III, Delfeayo, Mboya, and Jason; Mr. Marsalis split his time between performing at New Orleans clubs at night while teaching music full time, most notably for twelve years at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. After serving as the Coordinator of Jazz Studies, and a Commonwealth Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1986-1989, Mr. Marsalis returned to New Orleans to become the first occupant and director of the Coca-Cola endowed Chair of Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans. Marsalis’ extensive performing credentials include The Today Show, The Tonight Show, The Arsenio Hall Show, Good Morning America, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and sharing honors with singer/actress Joanne “Lady BJ” Creighton at the Ace Awards for Best Single Music Program on Cable Television. Retiring in 2001, Ellis Marsalis continues to be active as a performing pianist, leading, and occasionally touring, his own quartet. He has several recordings on the CBS-Sony label, ELM RECORDS, developed with his wife Delores and son Jason. For more information, visit ellismarsalis.com.


The Marshall University Jazz Studies Program offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Jazz Studies students at Marshall University are provided the tools necessary to succeed as a professional musician in the rigorous modern music scene. Thirteen jazz courses are offered that focus on performance arranging and history. Peripheral courses in music technology and music production are also available as well as an array of performance opportunities and ensembles.

Jomie Jazz Center

The Jomie Jazz Center on the campus of Marshall University is the home of the Jazz Studies program.

image8651Added to the Joan C. Edwards Art Center, a two story, 12700 sq. ft. building that takes the form of a large, vaulted volume separated from the existing Fine Arts Building. The building serves multiple functions and allows for natural interaction between the jazz center spaces and the performing arts building. Conceived as a series of Administrative spaces arranged around a central “Jazz Forum”, the building allows for informal gatherings.

The forum space may be used for intimate jazz performances, meetings or classes. The first level houses the Artist’s Series administrative offices, a classroom, two practice rooms and a multi-media center. The second floor is home to practice rooms, a rehearsal/recording space and a recording studio. Balconies overlooking the jazz forum furnished with lounge chairs and nightclub style tables complete the level.

The Jomie Jazz Center arrives at its unique name by combining parts of the first names of two of Marshall University’s best friends and supporters – Joan C. Edwards and James F. (Jimmie) Edwards.