Trombonist Porter Jones was one of two students to receive the top soloist award at the Essentially Ellington competition in New York.
Porter Jones, a senior at Roosevelt High School, won an Ella Fitzgerald Outstanding Soloist award at the Essentially Ellington competition and festival in New York this past weekend. Jones, who plays trombone, was one of two students to receive the top soloist award. The other award went to a student from North Carolina.
Fifteen high-school jazz bands competed at Essentially Ellington, three of them from the Seattle area: Roosevelt High School and Garfield High School, from Seattle, and Mount Si High School, from Snoqualmie.
Though none placed in the top three, students picked up many awards.
Mount Si was recognized for its outstanding rhythm and saxophone sections. Roosevelt, for its saxophone section.
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Mount Si students won four outstanding soloist awards: Max Canella (piano), Jonathan Henriksen (bass), Will Crandell (drums) and Hayden Kajercline (alto saxophone). Roosevelt took five: Ravi Sharma (guitar), Jesse Beckett-Herbert (clarinet), Santosh Sharma (bass clarinet), Elliott Halpern (tenor saxophone) and Porter Jones (trombone). Garfield had one: Daniel Leong (clarinet).
The top three bands were, in order, New World School of the Arts, from Miami; the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, from Raleigh, N.C.; and the Tucson Jazz Ensemble, from Tucson, Ariz.
Between 2002 and 2010, Seattle schools dominated Essentially Ellington, winning first place seven times. Since then, schools drawing students from an entire district have tended to win, and no Seattle-area band has won first place. Garfield received an honorable mention in 2014.