Profile Response: Joshua Nuss, Ellis Marsalis Center, New Orleans, LA

HWWLT Logo on yellowJoshua Nuss studied opera singing as an undergraduate. “As a slight man with the bass voice, few parts were written for me, so I went to graduate school in nonprofit administration.” Josh came to New Orleans to be Development Associate for the Ellis Marsalis Center at Musician’s Village.

Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis conceived of Musician’s Village as a way for the musical world to lift The Big Easy out of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. The 72 homes, built by Habitat for Humanity, plus the $8 million center for music education and performance have spurred redevelopment of New Orleans’ Upper Ninth Ward. The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, which opened in 2012, is a nonprofit enterprise with eight full-time employees, 25 part-time staff, and 300 students.

IMG_6371 IMG_6373 imgres

Students, all from the Ninth Ward, attend the center from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. five days a week. Each takes four classes, “One in your chosen instrument, one in piano and theory, a homework tutorial, and a computer lab. Brass is really popular, but we stress that learning other instruments can make the bridge to professional musician easier.” There are also a few vocal students and dancers, who follow a different curriculum.

IMG_6376The Ellis Marsalis Center includes music classrooms, a piano lab, computer lab, dance studio, and state-of-the-art AV room where teen students, paid interns sponsored by the City of New Orleans, learn technical performance and recording skills. The jewel of the center is a 300-seat performance space for student recitals and performances by global artists.


The Ellis Marsalis Center grooms musicians for lives that will span far beyond the Ninth Ward. It guides many aspects of these talented, though impoverished, students’ lives. At the end of every school day, the center provides a meal. “Once a month we have a catered meal served in the main hall where students practice etiquette. Students from the Ellis Marsalis Center are invited to many outside events; we expect them to be at home anywhere in the world.”

How will we live tomorrow?

IMG_6378“It’s got to be together. The (presidential) debate last night showed we can’t do it without each other. In New Orleans, we depended on the rest of the world in the 2000s to keep us going. This facility is funded by all 50 states and international organizations. The outside community created us and put us on the map. Only now can we begin to tap our own city’s resources.

“I don’t see how someone could have lived through Katrina and think we can do it alone. People don’t appreciate other people and what they can do. They expect too much.”


About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog,, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
This entry was posted in Responses and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Profile Response: Joshua Nuss, Ellis Marsalis Center, New Orleans, LA

  1. Robert Frauenthal says:

    Without Jesus we will not have a tomorrow. Unless America revives we will see a further slide into Globalism, Socialism and Idol worship.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s