Essentially Ellington

Andrew Swanson

The Westerlies are a new young brass ensemble based out of New York City. They’re an all-over-the-musical-map group whose first album is already garnering critical praise.

And this first bit of success could have something to do with their Seattle roots. All four musicians, all in their 20s, grew up in Seattle where they absorbed much of the local music scene. They’re the product of two of the best high school jazz programs in the country: Garfield and Roosevelt high schools. And their debut album, recorded in a family friend’s cabin on Lopez Island, is a reinterpretation of an eclectic mix of compositions by Seattlelite Wayne Horvitz.

Rooseveltjazz.org

Three western Washington high schools are among the 15 finalists in the annual Essentially Ellington competition and festival in New York.

Garfield High School, Roosevelt High School and first-timer Mount Si High School will compete against other finalists from around the country at the Lincoln Center in May. 

Ben Henwood / Rooseveltjazz.org

Seattle's own Roosevelt High School's jazz band took third place at the prestigious Essentially Ellington festival in New York this weekend. 

The Tucson Jazz Institute placed first, and Jazz House Kids of Montclair, New Jersey came in second. 

Essentially Ellington's Facebook page

Three area high schools jazz bands are in New York this weekend to compete in the 18th annual Essentially Ellington Festival, the most prestigious high school jazz band competition in the country. 

Edmonds-Woodway High School, as well as bands from Seattle's Garfield and Roosevelt high schools are among the 15 national finalists from across the U.S. and Canada. 

www.theculturemom.com

Three Seattle-area high school jazz bands have been selected from nearly 100 schools across the country to compete in this year’s prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City.

Jazz bands from Garfield and Roosevelt in Seattle as well as Edmonds-Woodway were the only three high schools selected from a region that includes 11 states and several Canadian provinces.

Photo by Florangela Davila

The most prestigious high school jazz band competition begins today in New York City.  And among the 15 finalists are three local competitors: Roosevelt, Mountlake Terrace and newcomer Ballard High School.

"I think we surprised a lot of people," says Ballard's jazz band director Michael James, about being a finalist in the Essentially Ellington jazz band competition. "But I knew if we were able to get into this festival it would put us on people's radar and say, 'Hey, what's going on at Ballard?'"

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.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Paul deBarros / Twitpic

Two Western Washington high school bands finished in the top three at the "Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 16th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival Saturday.

KING 5 TV reports Seattle's Roosevelt High School took second place and Mountlake Terrace High School took third.

Florangela Davila / KPLU

It's another banner year for Seattle-area high school jazz bands. 

Ensembles from Roosevelt and Mountlake Terrace High Schools are once again at Lincoln center in New York, NY - competing in what many critics regard as the nation's top bout for young jazz artists, the Essentially Ellington competition.

The Seattle Times is covering the event and has this note in today's print copy of the  paper:

"On Friday, the competition runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with Roosevelt appearing last. There are two segments on Saturday, 7 to 8:30 a.m., with Mountlake Terrace playing last, and 10 a.m. to noon. The three top bands will be announced on the live stream at 1 p. m. (All times PST.)"