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Renowned Jazz Pianist Ellis Marsalis to Perform with ONU Jazz Ensemble

Apr 23, 2008
The Ohio Northern University Freed Center for the Performing Arts presents modern-jazz innovator Ellis Marsalis on Tuesday, May 6, at 8 p.m. in Biggs Theatre.

Regarded as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans, Marsalis will combine his unique style with the sounds of the ONU Jazz Ensemble. The Ensemble will be under the direction of Dr. David Kosmyna with Marsalis as guest conductor. The concert will feature a variety of jazz, from classical and funk to big band and swing.

Marsalis entered Dillard University in New Orleans, graduating with a degree in music education in 1955. He began to hone his piano skills after joining the U.S. Marine Corps the following year, performing on the Marine Corps-sponsored television show "Dress Blues" and radio program "Leatherneck Songbook." Throughout the 60s and 70s, Marsalis would be a staple on the New Orleans music scene. In 1974, he began graduate studies at Loyola University (New Orleans). He held various instructor positions, including director of jazz studies and the first Coca Cola-endowed Jazz Chair at the University of New Orleans. Marsalis retired from the University of New Orleans in 2001.

Marsalis has released more than 20 albums and appeared on numerous television programs, including NBC's "TODAY" and "The Tonight Show," PBS's "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," and ABC's "Good Morning America." Marsalis has been awarded three honorary doctorate degrees, one from alma mater Dillard University (1989) and others from Ball State University (1997) and Tulane University (2007). His famous pupils include Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton and Harry Connick Jr.

Tickets are $30 for general admission. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling (419) 772-1900.

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