High-school jazz bands from Roosevelt and Garfield, in Seattle, and Mount Si, in Snoqualmie, have been named repeat finalists for the prestigious Essentially Ellington competition in New York City.

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Three high-school jazz bands from the Seattle area were named Wednesday as finalists in the Essentially Ellington competition and festival, held in New York City.

Bands from Garfield High School and Roosevelt High School, which between them have won the contest seven times, were chosen, as was Mount Si High School, in Snoqualmie, going to the finals for the second time.

The same three local bands went to Essentially Ellington last year.

The 20-year-old festival is presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center, the jazz nonprofit headed by Wynton Marsalis, and takes place May 7-9.

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In addition to the competition, the festival includes mentoring and workshops for each band.

Some special events will mark the 20th anniversary, including an Essentially Ellington exhibit, a retrospective documentary and the creation of the Essentially Ellington Alumni Association, which invites past participants to network professionally.

Each year, 15 bands are chosen as finalists, based on recordings of music by Duke Ellington and other important jazz composers. At the competition itself, cash awards are given to the top three bands.

Since opening up to schools west of the Mississippi in 1999, the event has been dominated by Washington state bands, which have accounted for 55 of 260 finalist slots. In 2008, five of the 15 finalists were from the Seattle area. In three other years, three finalists came from Washington.