Wynton plays with finalists of Essentially Ellington Competition 2007

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s nationwide Duke Ellington repertory competition concludes this weekend, as 15 high school jazz orchestras come out swinging.
The bands will compete and participate in a festival of workshops, jam sessions and more, during the final Competition & Festival in New York City on May 4 – 6 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The top placing bands perform with Wynton Marsalis, as a soloist on May 6 at Avery Fisher Hall followed by an all Ellington concert performed by the 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra – all of whom serve as mentors for each of the finalist bands during this weekend festival. The three-day festival culminates with the awards ceremony honoring outstanding soloists and sections and placing the three top bands.

Free tickets for the competition can be obtained at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office, Broadway at 60th Street beginning on April 9. Tickets for the Concert and Awards Ceremony are $20 and available now at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office, by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500 or at

The Competition & Festival weekend is the focal point of the annual Essentially Ellington program, which also includes regional festivals, curriculum resources, summer Band Director Academy, monthly newsletters and more.

“After decades of doing master classes in high schools across our country, it’s hard to believe the impact this program has had on jazz bands. Bass players with sounds, brass players wah-wahing with plunger mutes, the return of the swooping clarinet, swinging rhythm sections … the blues. Through this program, we have seen the power of Ellington’s music bring out the best in our young people. And each year our band directors and their communities become even more committed. This is one of my favorite times of the year — when families come in from across the country in support of their bands and directors and other peoples’ kids and music programs. You can feel their energy. And, for us all, it enriches ourselves by illuminating the human value of this great music. It reminds us that jazz is indeed alive in the next generation,”

said Wynton.

Essentially Ellington 2007 Finalists:

Agoura High School Studio Jazz Band, Agoura Hills, CA
Agoura High School Jazz A, Agoura Hills, CA
Rio Americano High School, Sacramento, CA
Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT
Foxboro High School, Foxboro, MA
King Philip Regional High School, Wrentham, MA
River East Collegiate, Winnipeg, MB
Grandview High School, Grandview, MO
Honeoye Falls-Lima High School, Honeoye Falls, NY
Williamsville East High School, East Amherst, NY
Carroll Senior High School, Southlake, TX
Edmonds-Woodway High School, Edmonds, WA
Garfield High School, Seattle, WA
Roosevelt High School, Seattle, WA
Mead High School, Spokane, WA

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