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On Wednesday (April 1), Jazz legend Ellis Marsalis Jr., passed away at age 85 from pneumonia set on by COVID-19, the Associated Press reports. The acclaimed pianist’s son Branford Marsalis issued a statement on the patriarch’s passing, noting that he was hospitalized since Saturday (March 28).
“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.” His other son Wynton Marsalis tweeted a series of photos of him and his father, captioning the images: “He went out the way he lived: embracing reality.”
Ellis Marsalis, 1934 - 2020
He went out the way he lived: embracing reality pic.twitter.com/sPyYUuBoIG
— Wynton Marsalis (@wyntonmarsalis) April 2, 2020
In the spirit of passing along his musical knowledge and skills, Marsalis served as a jazz professor at various Louisiana-based universities and schools in his native New Orleans. Those included Xavier University, University of New Orleans, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He also received an honorary degree from Tulane University in 2007.
From playing at local clubs to becoming a mainstay at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Marsalis' musical prowess inspired a line of other famous Jazz musicians, including his former student Harry Connick Jr. "He already knew everything i was trying to learn; but he always made me figure things out for myself," Connick Jr. wrote. "He was a grand master educator, an inimitable pianist, a caring mentor and a dear friend. I wouldn't be who i am without him."
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my heart is heavy today. among the countless lessons ellis marsalis taught me, the most important was the process of discovery. he already knew everything i was trying to learn; but he always made me figure things out for myself. he was a grand master educator, an inimitable pianist, a caring mentor and a dear friend. i wouldn't be who i am without him. i'll miss him with all my heart. my prayers are with the marsalis family today. i love you so much, mr. marsalis. #ellismarsalis
Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch went up against each other on Wednesday (April 1), for the latest Instagram Live competition commissioned by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.
Fresh and Storch each played 20 of the many hits in their respective catalogs which included, Juvenile’s “Back That A** Up,” Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama,” “Still Fly” by the Big Tymers, Lil Wayne’s “Go DJ,” “Lean Back” by Fat Joe featuring Remy Ma, Beyonce’s “Naughty Girl,” “Baby Boy” and “Me Myself,” 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop,” Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.,” and B.G.’s “Bling Bling” featuring Big Tymers and the Hot Boyz.
More than 200,000 viewers signed on to watch the epic battle, and although Swizz declared Storch the winner, the internet is still debating over which producer came out victorious. Either way though, the true winners were the fans.
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Score card from the people !! Thank you @scottstorchofficial & @manniefresh for doing it for the people at home aka the culture ! We also hit 202k tonight VERZUZ !!! Scott won tonight but so did the culture ! @timbaland it’s a wrap 🙌🏽
Storch versatility is too crazy, and he had hit after hit after hit. But Mannie legit created a sound for one of the most influential record labels ever. A sound. Like “Rich N’s” off 400 Degreez never made the top of the charts, but that’s a bonafide classic record.
— Justin Tinsley (@JustinTinsley) April 2, 2020
Other than like 2-3 songs, Mannie played music from one label. One label! Cash Money Records. One of the greatest record labels of all time, any genre. What a run.
— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) April 2, 2020
Back That Azz Up is a negro spiritual and because of that, the ancestors are PROUD. We salute the legend, Mannie Fresh.
— Maura Chanz (@maurachanz) April 2, 2020
SCOTT STORCH JUST HUMBLY WASHED MANNIE FRESH THIS ENTIRE BATTLE!!!!
His Range Is Too Elite For Mannie
— DJ First Class™ 🏁 (@1DJFirstClass) April 2, 2020
Nobody ever got ass thrown on em to still DRE.. mannie won to me 😂
— Le$ 🥩x🦐™ (@SteakxShrimp) April 2, 2020
Scott won.... Mannie fucked around with some bullshit too many times https://t.co/m1Em2C3XjW
— Kojo Ebro (@oldmanebro) April 2, 2020
The digital fracas was of course all in good fun as both sides complimented each other, and vowed to work together. Scott also plugged his forthcoming album and teased a new single with Ozuna and Tyga. Mannie promoted his “Virus Killaz” DJ live stream mix and Sunday gospel mix.
“After this, let’s get together and change the world,” Fresh told Storch. “There is no harm in this. We will love each other as brothers….We love you and your crew.”
T-Pain and Lil Jon are apparently next in line for an Instagram live music bout scheduled for Saturday (April 4) at 9 p.m. EST.
In the meantime, peep a snippet from the tonight's battle below.
Y’all wanna see a dead body.... Scott Storch Won. pic.twitter.com/30rm8DaWjQ
— The Academy Music Business (@BenjaminEnfield) April 2, 2020
With Easter and Palm Sunday coming up soon, Rev. Al Sharpton called leaders of the nation’s largest historically Black churches, and other faith leaders, to urge them not to hold in-person services during the global pandemic.
In a video conference call on Wednesday (April 1), Sharpton spoke with several Black church leaders about discontinuing “services that are not online.” The conference call was fueled in part by a Louisiana megachurch pastor being arrested for holding a church service and a funeral over the last week.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pastor Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church, was charged with six counts of disobeying power of government after holding a funeral last week with more than 100 mourners, and a church service on Tuesday (March 31) evening.
I convened a call with the heads of the nation’s largest historically Black religious denominations & other faith leaders to call on clergy to refrain from having church services as we head into Palm Sunday and Easter Holy Week. pic.twitter.com/TygPkhTD0g
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) April 1, 2020
Spell “willfully” violated the “local coronavirus stay-at-home order,” Sharpton reportedly said on Wednesday.
“I have been arrested over thirty times for civil rights & civil disobedience — twice for ninety days & another forty-five days for standing up for people’s civil and human rights,” Sharpton tweeted. “These separate incidents involving leaders of faith putting people’s lives in danger is not a matter of civil or human rights, nor is it a testament of faith.”
Florida megachurch pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was also arrested for holding two church services this past Sunday (March 29). Following his arrest, Howard-Browne said that he had no choice but to temporarily shut the church down. “I have to do this to protect the congregation — not from the virus but from a tyrannical government.”
Howard-Browne could have the two misdemeanor charges against him dropped after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis deemed places of worship as “essential business” in a mandatory statewide stay-at-home order issued Wednesday.