Jazz House Kids to compete in New York City for a Jazz Band Competition.
The Jazz House Kids, with five Montclair students, have been named a finalist in the 21st Annual Essential Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival in New York City. Jazz House Kids is one of the top 15 finalist among nearly 100 high school jazz bands across North America that entered the competition. The Jazz House Kids will travel to the competition at the Lincoln Center from May 5 – 7.
“The finalist bands attending Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival each May are among the top jazz ensembles in the country,” said Maegan McHugh, Assistant Director of Education at Jazz at Lincoln Center “There are currently over 3,800 member schools and in the program’s 21-year history, only 112 schools and community programs have been invited to the national event. While performing on stage in front of Wynton Marsalis and our esteemed panel of judges is an invaluable experience for participating students, it is the education-focused jam sessions, section workshops, mentor relationships with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) members and ensemble rehearsal experiences that students carry with them throughout the rest of their lives.”
The Jazz House Kids are the only group from New Jersey to compete, taking the stage amongst other groups from all across the country. The 2016 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Finalists include: Beloit Memorial High School, Byron Center High School, Crescent Super Band, Foxboro High School, Garfield High School, Jazz House Kids, Lexington High School, Mount Si High School, New World School of the Arts, Roosevelt High School, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, Sun Prairie High School, Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, Tucson Jazz Institute and University High School.
According to a news release, each school submitted recordings of three tunes performed from charts from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington library. The finalists were named from these submissions. Each band was invited to submit a recording, and 15 finalists were selected through a rigorous screening process.
In addition to performing in the competition, each finalist band will receive an in-school workshop led by a professional musician before coming to New York to perform before esteemed judges Lauren Sevian, Jeff Hamilton, Chuck Israel, Chris Crenshaw and Wynton Marsalis.
As part of their time in the city, on May 5, the finalist bands will arrive in New York City to spend three days in workshops, jam sessions, rehearsals and performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center. On May 7, the Competition and Festival will conclude with a concert and awards ceremony featuring the three top-placing bands and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
For more information about the Jazz House Kids, visit their website at jazzhousekids.org.