Congratulations to Edmonds-Woodway High School’s jazz band, which on Wednesday was named one of 15 American finalists bands that will compete for top honors in the prestigious Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition and Festival May 10-12.
The E-W band was selected from among nearly 100 high school jazz bands across the country that entered the competition. Each school submitted recordings of three tunes performed from charts from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington library.
The Seattle area usually has at least two — if not three — high schools chosen for Essentially Ellington, with both Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace high schools appearing in recent years from the Edmonds School District. Seattle’s Roosevelt and Garfield high schools are on the list again this year.
Beginning on May 10, the 15 finalist bands will compete for top honors and participate in workshops, jam sessions, and more during the three-day competition and festival in New York City. The first half of the final concert on May 12 will feature the three top-placing bands performing with a member of the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as guest soloist. The second half will feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra- whose members serve as mentors for the finalist bands throughout the weekend – performing a repertoire of tunes made famous by Duke Ellington. The festival concludes with an awards ceremony honoring outstanding soloists, sections and the three top-placing bands.
For the first time, the entire weekend of Essentially Ellington events, including the final concert featuring the three top-placing bands, will be webcast live on jalc.org/live.
Here’s the list of all finalists:
American Music Program, Portland, OR
Badger High School, Lake Geneva, WI
Beloit Memorial High School, Beloit, WI
Community Arts Program, Coral Gables, FL
Dillard Center for the Arts, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Edmonds-Woodway High School, Edmonds, WA
Foxboro High School, Foxboro, MA
Garfield High School, Seattle, WA
Jazz House Kids, Montclair, NJ
Lexington High School, Lexington, MA
New World School of the Arts, Miami, FL
Rio Americano High School, Sacramento, CA
Roosevelt High School, Seattle, WA
Sun Prairie High School, Sun Prairie, WI
Tucson Jazz Institute, Tucson, AZ