High School Bands Duke It Out in New York
On May 19, three high school jazz bands took top honors in the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Sixth Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition & Festival. The 315 All-Stars of Greater Syracuse, N.Y., Roosevelt High School Jazz Band of Seattle, Wash. and Lovett School Jazz Ensemble of Atlanta, Ga. placed first, second and third, respectively. A panel of judges comprised of jazz musicians Wynton Marsalis (pictured left), Monsignor John Sanders, Carmen Lundy, Charles McPherson and Lalo Schifrin chose the winners.
Essentially Ellington is the largest of over 450 events Jazz at Lincoln Center will produce this year. The competition and festival began in 1996 with the purpose of encouraging the study and performance of Duke Ellington's music and the fostering of relationships between students and professional musicians. While originally open only to bands in the New York tri-state area, the competition now accepts bands from all 50 states and U.S. territories.