Essentially Ellington finalists compete today

The 15 finalists in the Essentially Ellington big band competition are all in New York this weekend to compete for top spot among high school jazz band. Finalists include three schools from Washington State: Ballard High School, Mountlake Terrace High School and Roosevelt High School. To read more on the competition, click here.

The competition has made listening and watching the bands perform this weekend very accessible. They have an interactive page which will be video streaming the three competition segments live (May 5th, 2:30-6:30 PM EST; May 6th, 10-11:30 AM EST; May 6th, 1-2:30 PM EST). The announcement of the three top-placing bands will be made Sunday, May 6th at 4 PM EST.

In addition to the live video stream, the page will feature live ongoing Twitter and Facebook conversation for viewers to participate in all weekend long.

To go to the Essentially Ellington webcast page, click here.

To get involved in the conversation, use the hash tag #EssEllington, and you can follow the festival on Twitter @EssEllington.

Three Washington schools among finalists for Essentially Ellington Competition

Jazz at Lincoln Center announced this morning the 15 finalist bands and one winning community band for its prestigious 17th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Among the finalists were three bands from Washington State, including Ballard High School, Mountlake Terrace High School, and Roosevelt High School. The bands will compete and participate in workshops, jam sessions, and more, during a three-day Competition & Festival in New York City May 4th through the 6th. The three top-placing bands perform with Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wynton Marsalis, as guest soloist, followed by a performance by the 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra ‟ whose members serve as mentors for the finalist bands throughout the weekend. The Festival’s finale is an awards ceremony honoring outstanding soloists, sections and the top three bands. The Competition & Festival is the culmination of the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program (EE), which also includes regional festivals, teaching resources, a summer Band Director Academy, monthly newsletters, and more.

Last year, Roosevelt High School took second place, while Mountlake Terrace finished third.

For more information on the competition, visit