Marley Marsalis began playing piano at the age of 5 years old, along with many other instruments. Marley is currently a Senior at Cabrini High School and active member of many clubs, including the Ambassadors, No Place For Hate, Athenians, Campus Ministry, Origami, Film and Music, and Mind and Body. Marley actively volunteers at the LSPCA, St. Margeret’s Hospice, and her own church parish St. Katharine Drexel as an altar server. Marley earned her certification as an Ordained Eucharistic Minister for both her school and church parish. Marley joined the Junior Daughters of Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies of Auxiliary at 8 years old. She spends the majority of her time playing piano, When not competing she occasionally performs at Snug Harbor and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on her father’s set. She was featured in a documentary titled, Music Pictures: New Orleans with her father and grandfather shortly before his passing. This film marked the only time in history that three generations have been recorded on an album, earning Marley the opportunity of becoming a Voting Member of the Grammy Recording Academy. Marley performed at the film’s premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival and accepted the 2023 Grammy Trustees Award with her father on behalf of her late grandfather, Ellis Marsalis. After graduating from Cabrini in the spring of 2024, Marley will be attending Tulane University in the fall of 2024 to major in Music Performance and French with a Minor in Business.
Acceptance speech made by Marley Marsalis of Cabrini High School, at the coronation party Dec. 19, 2023, at the Degas House museum and hotel:
“First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude for being chosen to represent Saint Joan of Arc. However, I will use this time to talk about an issue, that I find not only dear to my heart, but also corresponds to who Joan of Arc was. This issue is women’s rights. Throughout my life, I have witnessed the discrimination that confronts all women around the world. Although changes in laws have been made to ensure certain rights, sexism is still currently present among us in work places, academic settings, the public, etc. Even if this bias is intentional or unintentional, it still exists.
There is still a disadvantage for women, who are judged for their sexuality, their race, their body size, their annual salary or simply the right to express their emotions. I can give many more examples, but I’m afraid I don’t have the desired time. But what I will say, is that all women deserve to be treated with the same equity, in which their male counterparts receive on a daily basis. In honor of Joan of Arc, she was a woman who fought strongly for what she believed in, regardless of what people thought of her. Now that I’m the representation of her, I will do the same thing. I will continue to speak for what I believe is right, and stand against any injustices that I may be in witness of.
I hope we see each other again soon in the near future. Once again, thank you for the Krewe of Joan of Arc for such an honor. I will do my best to represent your organization honorably. “