Thursday, April 9, 2020

Carroll Jazz Band Qualifies for Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival

The Carroll Jazz Band was named as one of 18 high school big bands invited to the 25th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, the largest group in the competition’s history. The nation’s premier jazz education event will take place in New York City May 7-9. For 25 years, the Essentially Ellington program has been the cornerstone of Jazz at Lincoln’s Center’s arts education programming. The program has helped to foster the talent and love of jazz music of over 890,000 young musicians throughout its history.

“This year’s Jazz Orchestra is incredible. I have been floored by their focus and commitment to hard work over the course of this year with this specific goal set in their minds,” said David Lown, Director of Jazz Bands at Carroll. “We always give everything we have to get to the finals of this competition every year, but this year the students have been even more intense in their work given that this is the 25th Anniversary of the competition.”

All Essentially Ellington member bands were invited to submit a recording, and 18 finalists were selected through a rigorous screening process.  Carroll Jazz was selected from a competitive pool of 106 bands that submitted recordings of three tunes from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Library. From May 7 through 9, these talented young musicians from all over the nation will participate in workshops, jam sessions and sectionals before competing for top honors at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, nicknamed the “House of Swing.” Following the competition events, a concert and awards ceremony will take place featuring this year’s top three bands alongside the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

“We knew that the bands selected would genuinely be the best in the nation bar none, and we really wanted to be one of those!” said Lown. “This is just a huge achievement for these kids.”

The full list of 2020 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Finalists includes:

  • Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA)
  • Beloit Memorial High School (Beloit, WI)
  • Byron Center High School (Byron Center, MI)
  • Carroll Senior High School (Southlake, TX)
  • Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music (Bronx, NY)
  • Denver School of the Arts (Denver, CO)
  • Dillard Center for the Arts (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • Garfield High School (Seattle, WA)
  • Memphis Central High School (Memphis, TN)
  • Mountlake Terrace High School (Mountlake Terrace, WA)
  • Mount Si High School (Snoqualmie, WA)
  • New World School of the Arts (Miami, FL)
  • Plano West Senior High School (Plano, TX)
  • Rio Americano High School (Sacramento, CA)
  • Roosevelt High School (Seattle, WA)
  • Tarpon Springs High School (Tarpon Springs, FL)
  • Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble (Raleigh, NC)
  • Seattle JazzED Ellington Ensemble (Seattle, WA)