NEW YORK (AP) — Two first-time contestants have taken the top prizes at Jazz at Lincoln Center's 18th annual Essentially Ellington high school jazz band competition.
At a Sunday-night concert at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, the first-place trophy and $5,000 award were presented by JALC artistic director Wynton Marsalis to the Tucson Jazz Institute's Ellington Big Band directed by Doug Tidaback.
Jazz House Kids, a band founded by a nonprofit, jazz education organization in Montclair, N.J., finished second. Third place went to Roosevelt High School in Seattle, while last year's winner, the Dillard Center for the Arts of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received honorable mention.
The three-day competition featured 15 finalist bands — chosen from among 96 entries — performing compositions made famous by Duke Ellington's orchestra.