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Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Jazz at Lincoln Center Announces 22nd Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival Top-Placing Bands

JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ANNOUNCES THE

22nd ANNUAL ESSENTIALLY ELLINGTON 
HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ BAND
COMPETITION & FESTIVAL
TOP-PLACING BANDS

Returning Winner, Tucson Jazz Institute, Takes Home First Place Honors, for the Third Time

First Place: Tucson Jazz Institute
Second Place: Denver School of the Arts

Third Place: Dillard Center for the Arts
Honorable Mention: Newark Academy


New York, NY – May 13, 2017 – Jazz at Lincoln Center proudly announces the top three high school jazz bands in the nation that took the highest honors tonight at the prestigious 22nd Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The first-place winner is Tucson Jazz Institute from Tucson, AZ. This is the third time Tucson Jazz Institute has taken first-place honors including 2013 and 2014. The second-place winner is Denver School of the Arts from Denver, CO and third-place winner is Dillard Center for the Arts from Fort Lauderdale, FL. The honorable mention winner is Newark Academy from Newark, NJ.

Beginning on May 11, the top 15 high school jazz bands in the country participated in the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival and for the first time ever, Essentially Ellington welcomed guests from the Orquesta Juvenil de Jazz de Cuba to perform in exhibition. Their performance enriched the community and expanded Jazz at Lincoln Center’s reach to the educational system in Havana. All 16 bands were immersed in three days of mentoring, jam sessions, and workshops.

On Friday, May 12, the competition kicked off with a second line parade, United We Swing, with all participating bands, hosts, community members and city officials parading from Columbus Circle Park to the Jazz at Lincoln Center marquee at the Time Warner Center. The United We Swing second line parade was held in celebration and support of arts programs and arts education nationwide.

Video from the parade is available here. Photos from the parade and Essentially Ellington festival and competition available here

This evening, the competition culminated with each top-placing band performing alongside their choice of guest soloist from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. The final concert also featured the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – whose members served as mentors for the finalist bands throughout the festival. The Orchestra performed the music of Chick Webb and Duke Ellington which will be featured in next year’s Essentially Ellington Program.

Each finalist band was selected by a panel of adjudicators including: Loren Schoenberg, Mark Buselli, Steve Fidyk, and Todd Coolman. At the Festival, finalist bands were critiqued by a panel of judges comprised of distinguished jazz musicians and historians: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis; acclaimed trumpeter and Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Jazz Orchestras Sean Jones; big band leader, drummer and Grammy-nominated recording artist Jeff Hamilton; renowned flautist, saxophonist, composer, educator, and EE Alum Erica von Kleist; and Director Emeritus of Jazz Studies  Houston’s High School for Performing and Visual Arts Dr. Bob Morgan.
 

During the culminating ceremony, Wynton Marsalis presented awards to each of the finalist high school jazz bands. Tucson Jazz Institute accepted the first-place trophy and an award of $5,000. Denver School of the Arts accepted the second-place trophy and an award of $2,500. Dillard Center for the Arts accepted the third-place trophy with an award of $1,000. The remaining finalist bands were each awarded a cash prize of $500. All monetary awards are to be used for improving the jazz education programs of each respective high school. 

 

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 22nd Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival Awards


First Place: Tucson Jazz Institute
Second Place: Denver School of the Arts

Third Place: Dillard Center for the Arts
Honorable Mention:Newark Academy

 

HONORABLE MENTION RHYTHM SECTION:

Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

Tucson Jazz Institute

 

OUTSTANDING RHYTHM SECTION:

Newark Academy

Dillard Center for the Arts

 

 

OUTSTANDING CLARINET SECTION:

Byron Center High School

 

HONORABLE MENTION REED SECTION:

Mount Si High School

Tucson Jazz Institute

Edmonds-Woodway High School 

 

OUTSTANDING REED SECTION:

Newark Academy

Denver School of the Arts

 

OUTSTANDING TROMBONE SECTION:

Tucson Jazz Institute

Dillard Center for the Arts 

 

OUTSTANDING TRUMPET SECTION:

Orquesta Juvenil de Jazz de Cuba

Osceola County School for the Arts

Dillard Center for the Arts

 

HONORABLE MENTION BRASS:

Mountlake Terrace High School 

 

OUTSTANDING BRASS:

Osceola County School for the Arts

 

HONORABLE MENTION PIANO:

Max Moore - Denver School of the Arts

Miles Lennox - Dillard Center for the Arts  

 

OUTSTANDING BASS:

Shaan Pandiri - Newark Academy

R.J. Silver - Foxboro High School

Gabe Rupe - Denver School of the Arts

James Lesky - Dillard Center for the Arts
 

 

 

HONORABLE MENTION GUITAR:
Gian Neri  - Mountlake Terrace High School
 

OUTSTANDING GUITAR:

Cosimo Fabrizio - Newark Academy

Jake Pardo - Dillard Center for the Arts

 

OUTSTANDING DRUMS:

Teddy McGraw - Newark Academy

 

HONORABLE MENTION VIBRAPHONE:

Alec Streete - Denver School of the Arts

 

OUTSTANDING TAP DANCER:

Brendan Kellam - Tucson Jazz Institute

 

HONORABLE MENTION CLARINET:

Joel Petrass - Tucson Jazz Institute


OUTSTANDING CLARINET:

Alan Lin - Newark Academy

Chris Ferrari - Denver School of the Arts
 

HONORABLE MENTION ALTO SAXOPHONE:

Christian Palomo - Mount Si High School

Connor Hoyt - Foxboro High School

Nigel Hervey - Dillard Center for the Arts

 

OUTSTANDING ALTO SAXOPHONE:

Eric Law - Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

Max Hubbard - Champaign Central High School

Charles Penn - Newark Academy

Andrew Gianetti - Tucson Jazz Institute

 

HONORABLE MENTION TENOR SAXOPHONE:

Dillon Crawford - Sun Prairie High School

Omar Barradas - Plano West Senior High School

Jonathan Aviles - Osceola County School for the Arts

Kieran Hitsman - Dillard Center for the Arts

Victor Spuck - Dillard Center for the Arts
 

OUTSTANDING TENOR SAXOPHONE:

Luis Miguel Sanchez - Orquesta Juvenil de Jazz de Cuba

Bennett LeClaire - Sun Prairie High School

Griffin Ross - Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

Allen Zhu - Newark Academy

Chris Ferrari - Denver School of the Arts

Dylon Rajah - Mountlake Terrace High School
 

HONORABLE MENTION BARITONE SAXOPHONE:

Kyle Bainbridge - Edmonds-Woodway High School

 

OUTSTANDING BARITONE SAXOPHONE:

Jorge Sergio Ramirez - Orquesta Juvenil de Jazz de Cuba

Lauren Elliott - Byron Center High School

Kevin Choi - Tucson Jazz Institute
 

OUTSTANDING TRIPLER:

Austin Zhang - Plano West Senior High School

Andrew Sumabat - Mountlake Terrace High School 

 

HONORABLE MENTION TROMBONE:

Reid Christmann – Newark Academy

Kenneth Eva - Foxboro High School

 

OUTSTANDING TROMBONE:

Gered Beyford - Mount Si High School

Charlie Sothcott - Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

Richie Brennan - Tucson Jazz Institute

Diego Duval – Osceola County School for the Arts

Rashaan Salaam - Dillard Center for the Arts

Jack Hillman - Edmonds-Woodway High School 

 

OUTSTANDING TUBA

Kyle Matthews - Foxboro High School

 

HONORABLE MENTION, TRUMPET:

Andrew Twiford - Byron Center High School

Austin Muthyala - Byron Center High School

Jose Valle - Osceola County School for the Arts

  

OUTSTANDING TRUMPET:

David Armando Navarro - Orquesta Juvenil de Jazz de Cuba

Sean Hakala - Mount Si High School

Miranda Agnew - Tucson Jazz Institute

Eric Gonzalez - Osceola County School for the Arts

Summer Camargo - Dillard Center for the Arts

Alex Tung - Lexington High School

 

OUTSTANDING LEAD TRUMPET:

Danny Carrion - Osceola County School for the Arts

 

 

HONORABLE MENTION VOCALS:

Samantha Powell - Newark Academy

Brianna Garcon - Dillard Center for the Arts

 

OUTSTANDING VOCALS:

Sage Eisenhour - Mount Si High School

Chris Ross - Lexington High School

 

THE ELLA FITZGERALD OUTSTANDING SOLOIST AWARD:

Rashaan Salaam – Dillard Center for the Arts

 

In the spirit of creativity and the continuation of the jazz legacy, Jazz at Lincoln Center also recognized the winner of the 5th Annual Dr. J. Douglas White Essentially Ellington Student Composition/Arranging Contest, Ethan Moffitt of Verdugo Academy (Glendale, CA). Each submission was critiqued by composer, arranger, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra saxophonist, Ted Nash, and the winning selection was recorded by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at their annual Essentially Ellington recording session on Wednesday, May 10. In addition, the winning composer received a $1,000 cash prize, a composition lesson with Ted Nash, and a trip to New York City to observe the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra recording session and the 2017 Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival.

The Competition & Festival is the culmination of the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program (EE), which also includes non-competitive regional festivals around the country, teaching resources, a summer Band Director Academy, and more. The year-long Essentially Ellington program will have distributed more than 36,000 newly transcribed scores by the end of this school year. For more information including background, history and audio recordings of the Essentially Ellington repertoire and more, visit: www.jazz.org/ee

 

This year, the Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival was accessible via social media on Facebook, Twitter @EssEllington, and Instagram @jazzdotorg. Throughout the weekend, students, viewers, and participants shared their thoughts and photos by using the hashtag #EssentiallyEllington, #Ellington17 and #UnitedWeSwing.

 

The 15 Finalists for Essentially Ellington 2017 (in alphabetical order):

Byron Center High School (Byron Center, MI); Champaign Central High School (Champaign, IL); Denver School of the Arts (Denver, CO); Dillard Center for the Arts (Fort Lauderdale, FL); Edmonds-Woodway High School (Edmonds, WA); Foxboro High School (Foxboro, MA); Lexington High School (Lexington, MA); Mount Si High School (Snoqualmie, WA); Mountlake Terrace High School (Mountlake Terrace, WA); Newark Academy (Livingston, NJ); Osceola County School for the Arts (Kissimmee, FL); Plano West Senior High School (Plano, TX); Sun Prairie High School (Sun Prairie, WI); Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble (Raleigh, NC); Tucson Jazz Institute (Tucson, AZ).

 

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

Major support is provided by Jessica and Nathan Bibliowicz, Alfred and Gail Engelberg, Casey Lipscomb, Dr. J. Douglas White and the King-White Family Foundation, Augustine Foundation, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation, and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Bloomberg, Con Edison, Entergy, and United Airlines.

 

For more information:

Christina Riley, Public Relations
212.258.9868
criley@jazz.org