Jazz bands from Garfield, Roosevelt and Mount Si high schools are finalists for the 2016 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival in New York.
Three Seattle-area high-school jazz bands have been selected as finalists in this year’s Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival in New York.
Bands from Garfield High School, Roosevelt High School and Mount Si High School, in Snoqualmie, are in the running. There are 15 finalists. Nearly 100 schools entered for consideration.
The competition and festival take place May 5-7 at Jazz at Lincoln Center, which sponsors the event.
All three Seattle-area bands are old hands at Essentially Ellington. Garfield has been a finalist 14 times since 1999, when the festival opened up to bands west of the Mississippi River, and has won first place four times. Roosevelt has competed in the finals 16 times and has won first place three times. This will be Mount Si’s third round as a finalist.
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“It’s a real honor,” said Mount Si band director Matt Wenman. “We feel privileged to be going with Garfield and Roosevelt.”
Between 2002 and 2010, Seattle schools dominated the event, but since then no Seattle-area band has won first place.