15 Finalist U.S. Bands to Compete at the 20th Anniversary of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival

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15 Finalist U.S. Bands To Compete At The 20th Anniversary Of Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival and Perform Before Wynton Marsalis and a Panel of Esteemed Judges. To view the live webcast, go to at jazz.org

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This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s prestigious Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Held each May, the Competition & Festival is the culmination of the yearlong Essentially Ellington program, which distributes free music and supplemental resources to high school and college jazz ensembles throughout the U.S., Canada, and American schools abroad.

On May 7, fifteen of the nation’s best high school bands arrived in NYC to spend three days immersed in workshops, jam sessions, rehearsals and performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center. On May 9, the competition & Festival will conclude with a concert and awards ceremony featuring the three top-placing bands and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

“Essentially Ellington is based on the music of Duke Ellington – who had the most comprehensive and profound body of music in the 20th century – and his values. The program uses quality literature to teach kids the meaning of jazz. The competition helps raise the level of musicianship and level of soul in our country. It doesn’t matter if you are a jazz musician or not. Duke’s music will touch you and give you the ability to improvise in any field,” said Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Managing and Artistic Director, Wynton Marsalis.

In February, Jazz at Lincoln Center proudly announced the 15 finalist bands that will compete in this year’s most innovative jazz education events in the world – at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s home, Frederick P. Rose Hall, on May 7- 9, 2015. Here are the 2015 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition Finalists:

Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA)
American Music Program (Portland, OR)
Beloit Memorial High School (Beloit, WI)
Community Arts Program (Coral Gables, FL)
Dillard Center for the Arts (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Foxboro High School (Foxboro, MA)
Garfield High School (Seattle, WA)
Lexington High School (Lexington, MA)
Lyons Township High School (LaGrange, IL)
Mount Si High School (Snoqualmie, WA)
New World School of the Arts (Miami, FL)
Newark Academy (Livingston, NJ)
Roosevelt High School (Seattle, WA)
Sun Prairie High School (Sun Prairie, WI)
Tucson Jazz Institute (Tucson, AZ)

The 15 finalists were selected through a rigorous screening process and each finalist band received an in-school workshop led by a professional musician before coming to New York to put up their “Dukes” and perform before Wynton Marsalis and a panel of esteemed judges.

For more information and to watch the 20th anniversary Essentially Ellington events via live webcast, go to jazz.org.

ABOUT JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER:
The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for Jazz through performance, education and advocacy.

We believe that Jazz is a metaphor for Democracy:

  • Because jazz is improvisational, it celebrates personal freedom and encourages individual expression;
  • Because jazz is swinging, it dedicates that freedom to finding and maintaining common ground with others; and
  • Because jazz is rooted in the blues, it inspires us to face adversity with persistent optimism.

With the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and guest artists spanning genres and generations, Jazz at Lincoln Center produces thousands of performance, education, and broadcast events each season in its home in New York City (Frederick P. Rose Hall, “The House of Swing”) and around the world, for people of all ages. Jazz at Lincoln Center is led by Chairman Robert J. Appel, Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, and Executive Director Greg Scholl. Please visit us at jazz.org

ABOUT JAZZ AT LICOLN CENTER’S ESSENTIALLY ELLINGTON:
Held each May, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival is the culmination of the yearlong Essentially Ellington program, which distributes free music and supplemental resources to high school and college jazz ensembles throughout the U.S., Canada, and American schools abroad. The 2014-15 season includes more than 3,200 member programs. Participating bands are invited to submit a recording, and 15 finalists are selected through a rigorous screening process. Each finalist band receives an in-school workshop led by a professional musician before coming to New York to put up their “Dukes” and perform before Wynton Marsalis and a panel of esteemed judges. Past workshop clinicians have included trumpeter Terell Stafford; jazz educator Ronald Carter; Justin DiCioccio, director of Jazz Studies at Manhattan School of Music; saxophonist Loren Schoenberg; pianist and educator Reginald Thomas; Rodney Whitaker, Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University; and members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Past judges include former Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra conductor and arranger David Berger; Gunther Schuller, “composer, conductor, horn player, jazz performer, writer, administrator, publisher, and teacher, all wrapped up into one tiny bundle of seemingly endless energy” (All Music Guide); Pulitzer Prize-nominated jazz musician and composer David Baker; renowned drummer and big band leader, Jeff Hamilton; and Wynton Marsalis.

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