Ellis Marsalis performing at French Quarter Festival in 2016. Photo by Noé Cugny

Ellis Marsalis has retired from his decades-long Snug Harbor residency

Ellis Marsalis, whose weekly performances at Snug Harbor lasted for over 30 years, announced he’s retiring from the residency.

The world-renowned jazz icon and father to one of New Orleans’ pre-eminent musical families will continue performing occasionally, according to a New Orleans City Business report citing the Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate. On December 27, the 85-year-old pianist performed two sold-out gigs at the Frenchmen Street venue, which served as his final two appearances of this particular residency.

Jason Patterson, the current Snug Harbor owner, told the Advocate “We figured out that he’s had a regular night at Snug Harbor since the late 1980s. That is a long time.”

In 2018, Marsalis received the Jazz Hero Award from the New Orleans chapter of the Jazz Journalists Association. At the time, the Association said, “It would be difficult to overstate the impact pianist, educator and 2011 NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis Jr. has had on modern jazz in New Orleans…Ellis Marsalis Jr., by staying in New Orleans, not onlychanged music history, he’s made it.  His lifelong, selfless yet creative commitment to our city and to the music that continues to come from it makes him a true Jazz Hero.”

In 2015, Marsalis received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Music at OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Awards.

According to Keith Spera’s report, Ellis Marsalis is expected to join his son Jason’s set at Snug Harbor this Friday, January 10.