The 2014 Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival will be held May 8-10, 2014 at Rose Hall.
For application and guideline information, please click HERE and select “Competition & Festival” from the dropdown menu on the right
Applications and recordings are due Friday, January 31, 2014.
To view the rubric from which the judges will be scoring submissions, click HERE.
The annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival is one of the most innovative jazz education events in the world. Each year, high school musicians from across North America travel to New York City to spend three days immersed in workshops, jam sessions, rehearsals and performances at the “House of Swing,” Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Held each May, the Competition & Festival is the culmination of the yearlong Essentially Ellington program, during which participating bands are invited to submit a recording and 15 finalists are selected through a rigorous screening process. Each finalist band receives an in-school workshop led by a professional musician before coming to New York to put up their “Dukes” and perform before Wynton Marsalis and a panel of esteemed judges. Past workshop clinicians have included trumpeter Terell Stafford; jazz educator Ronald Carter; Justin DiCioccio, director of Jazz Studies at Manhattan School of Music; saxophonist Loren Schoenberg; pianist and educator Reginald Thomas; and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s own Victor Goines. Among the past judges have been former Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra conductor and arranger David Berger; Gunther Schuller, who, according to All Music Guide, “is composer, conductor, horn player, jazz performer, writer, administrator, publisher, and teacher, all wrapped up into one tiny bundle of seemingly endless energy”; Pulitzer Prize-nominated jazz musician and composer David Baker; and, of course, Wynton Marsalis himself.
The festival concludes with a concert and awards ceremony featuring the three top-placing bands and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.