Returning to an in-person format for the first time since 2019, Jazz at Lincoln Center today announced the 27th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival, the flagship program of the nation’s largest jazz education network. world.
Built on the non-profit JALC’s 34-year history of jazz education excellence, Essentially Ellington has nurtured talent and appreciation for jazz music in more than one million young musicians, with alumni like GRAMMY-nominated bassist Carlos Henriquez, rising star trumpet player Summer Camargo, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, and acclaimed jazz pianist Aaron Diehl since the program’s inception in 1995.
Today, during a Facebook Live event, Jazz at Lincoln Center announced the 15 US bands that will participate in the 2022 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band competition and festival. See the announcement here.
After virtual iterations of the festival in 2020 and 2021, a selection process led by prominent jazz educators and musicians, including Steve Fidyk, Erica von Kleist, Tatum Greenblatt and Joseph Jefferson, chose the 15 best jazz bands from school age nation from a competitive pool of 89 schools, inviting them to New York City to learn, collaborate, perform, and compete for top honors alongside other musicians. The sets of high schools participating in Essentially Ellington in 2022 are:
Beloit Memorial High School (Beloit, WI)
Directed by Chris Behrens
Bothell High School (Bothell, WA)
Directed by Philip Dean
Byron Center High School (Byron Center, MI)
Directed by Marc Townley
Foxboro High School (Foxboro, MA)
Directed by Aaron Bush
Jazz House Kids (Montclair, NJ)
Directed by Nathan Eklund
Mount Si High School (Snoqualmie, WA)
Made by William Leather
New World School of the Arts (Miami, FL)
Directed by Jim Gasior
Newark Academy (Livingston, NJ)
Directed by Julius Tolentino
Noblesville High School (Noblesville, IN)
Directed by Bethany Robinson
Orange County School of the Arts (Santa Ana, CA)
Directed by John Reynolds
Osceola County School of the Arts (Kissimmee, FL)
Directed by Jason Anderson
Plano West Senior High School (Plano, TX)
Directed by Preston Pierce
Rio Americano High School (Sacramento, CA)
Directed by Josh Murray
Roosevelt High School (Seattle, WA)
Directed by Scott Brown
Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Directed by Gregg Gelb
In addition to celebrating top high school jazz bands across the United States and guest bands from around the world, Jazz at Lincoln Center will award the winner of the 9th Annual Essentially Ellington Dr. J. Douglas White Student Composition and Arranging Competition . This year, the prestigious award goes to Skylar Tang of Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, California. Tang’s original composition, “Kaleidoscope,” will be performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the 27th annual Essentially Ellington Festival. For his winning composition, Tang will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a public composition and arranging lesson with Ted Nash, Grammy Award-winning musician and longtime member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
“Congratulations to the finalists. I am proud of all Essentially Ellington alumni, group managers and the level at which people play. The level and quality of the game is higher every year,” said Wynton Marsalis, General Manager and artistic Jazz. at Lincoln Center. “It has been an honor each year to work with the judges and hear the children play and participate in their development. I look forward to welcoming this fantastic community back to the House of Swing.”
The three-day festival will immerse students in workshops, jam sessions, rehearsals, and performances at the “House of Swing,” Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center. It will also mark the culmination of the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band program, which has reached nearly 7,000 schools and independent bands in 55 countries. The program provides students with insight into American vernacular music and jazz, teaches the common history of jazz within a socio-political context, and builds awareness and appreciation for historical and contemporary jazz musicians.
In conjunction with the national festival each year, the Essentially Ellington program includes non-competitive regional festivals across the country and provides schools with free transcriptions of original recordings by Duke Ellington and other big band composers and arrangers, materials educational and other free resources. . It has also served as a major talent incubator, with many alumni nurturing a new generation of professional musicians.
As part of more than 1,000 digital programs made available by Jazz at Lincoln Center since 2020, Essentially Ellington Festival was held virtually in 2020 and 2021, expanding its reach internationally and connecting high school students to resources and experts. online jazz. In 2022, regional festivals will also return as in-person programs at 13 locations, and jazz charts and resources will continue to be made available to schools around the world.
“We are honored to welcome these exceptional schools to Jazz at Lincoln Center for workshops, performances and competitions in the creative and innovative spirit of Duke Ellington,” added Todd Stoll, vice president, Education at Jazz at Lincoln. Center. “In addition, this year’s in-person festival will witness the growth of our Essentially Ellington community, bringing jazz education to even more schools and students across the country through the expansion of our digital initiatives. .”
Festival events, including the final concert featuring top bands and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, will be webcast live. Tickets will go on sale to the public in April. For more information, including background, history and audio recordings of Essentially Ellington’s repertoire, visit: jazz.org/ee.