Special Projects

The Center also presents a variety of special projects and collaborations to engage our students and community outside of our regular offerings.

Our most recent project was The Silverbook Project.

Through funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, we featured The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music presents The Silverbook Project, led by Artist-in-Residence Jesse McBride, a New Orleans pianist and bandleader who was a student of Ellis Marsalis and Harold Battiste.

The Silverbook Project aimed to expand demand for jazz by using a modern jazz repertoire created by eight modern jazz performers and educators from New Orleans: living masters Ellis Marsalis and Tami Lynn, and deceased artists Harold Battiste, Ed Blackwell, James Black, Alvin Battiste, Nat Perrilant, and Melvin Lastie. Harold Battiste compiled the Silverbook in 1989 while on faculty at the University of New Orleans. The Silverbook has shaped an exceptional generation of artists including Wes Anderson, Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick, Jr., and Branford, Wynton and Delfeayo Marsalis.

Jesse McBride and the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music Jazz Orchestra ("EMCM Jazz Orchestra") introduced compositions by different Silverbook composers during the Center's Fall 2017 monthly concert series, presented to youth and senior audiences in the community. The EMCM Jazz Orchestra also showcased Silverbook compositions at two in-school performances for the 9th Ward community. We will also host a series of piano master classes to a diverse group of multi-generational musicians in our own backyard.

The Silverbook compositions that continue to influence musicians will now be enjoyed for years to come through recordings and the development of a new curriculum for future generations to enjoy.