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Monday, October 21st, 2019

Celebrating 25 Years: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s premier education program, which champions young performers and provides resources to jazz educators worldwide, rings in milestone 
25th anniversary with new initiatives 

New York, New York – (October 21, 2019) This season marks the 25th anniversary of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program, the organization’s premier education program designed for high school students, and jazz educators. Since 1995, through the Essentially Ellington program, Jazz at Lincoln Center has provided big band charts featuring the music of Duke Ellington and other jazz luminaries, teaching guides, expert feedback, and other resources, free of charge to 647,000 students around the world. The year-long program culminates every year with the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival wherein the top high school bands in North America compete for top honors at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, NY.

The 25th Annual Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival will take place on May 7-9, 2020, and submissions are open for high school jazz bands across North America. Click here for more information. 

To celebrate this notable anniversary, Jazz at Lincoln Center introduces new initiatives to expand the Essentially Ellington community and opportunities for students. For the first time, the screeners will select 18 finalist bands ─ an increase from 15 ─ from around the country, for acceptance to the 25th annual event in May. No regions, no categories, just a competition in its simplest form. This will allow three additional bands to experience the transformative educational experience that takes place when the most serious of high school students come together to learn, perform and collaborate with one another and today’s leading jazz educators and performers.

Jazz at Lincoln Center also launches the Essentially Ellington Equity and Inclusion Initiative. In the spirit of honoring jazz heritage, Jazz at Lincoln Center seeks to enrich high school-aged jazz band programs by helping to develop and support systemically underserved and/or underrepresented jazz programs that show outstanding promise. Recipients will receive: continued support from Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) Education staff; access to sheet music from previous years in the Essentially Ellington library; workshops in your band room with JALC-sponsored and local clinicians; full tuition scholarship to the 2020 Band Director Academy in New York City; and the opportunity to attend a Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra sound check while on tour (as available). All submissions must be submitted by Friday, November 15, 2019 by 11:59pm. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, please contact 212-258-9943 or ee@jazz.org.

Arts education has been a pillar of Jazz at Lincoln Center since it was founded over thirty years ago, with Essentially Ellington serving as a programming cornerstone for 25 of those years.

The annual Competition & Festival marks the culmination of the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program, which includes non-competitive regional festivals throughout the United States and Australia, free transcriptions of original Duke Ellington recordings, additional teaching resources, free adjudication, and more. The Essentially Ellingtonprogram has reached over 6,770 schools and independent bands in 55 countries.

For more information, including background, history, photos, and audio recordings of the Essentially Ellington repertoire, visit: jazz.org/ee

 The Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival is media-accessible via Jazz at Lincoln Center social media on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EssentiallyEllington, Twitter: @EssEllington, Instagram: @jazzdotorg.

Founding leadership support for Essentially Ellington is provided by
The Jack and Susan Rudin Educational and Scholarship Fund

support is provided by: Robert and Helen Appel, Jessica and Natan Bibliowicz, Alfred and Gail Engelberg, Susan Kahn, Eric and Sandra Krasnoff, Jeanette Davis-Loeb, Casey Lipscomb, Dr. J. Douglas White and the King-White Family Foundation, Augustine Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation, Con Edison, The CUNA Mutual Foundation,Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, Entergy, and The Hearst Foundations.

Additional information may be found at jazz.org | Facebook: facebook.com/jazzatlincolncenter |
Twitter: @jazzdotorg | Instagram: @jazzdotorg |
YouTube: youtube.com/jalc | Livestream: jazz.org/live


Press Inquiries:
Madelyn Gardner
Manager, Public Relations & External Communications
Jazz at Lincoln Center