In mid-May, 15 high school jazz bands from all over the country flocked to Jazz at Lincoln Center for the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition & Festival. The three-day event, named after Duke Ellington, is rife with opportunities for budding musicians to show off their skills while benefiting from mentoring, jam sessions and workshops.
“We’re fortunate to play Duke Ellington’s music, and we realize that the Duke Ellington legacy is about creativity – we heard and saw that in our young people,” Wynton Marsalis, the managing and artistic director for Jazz at Lincoln Center, said in a news release. “You lifted our spirits, and it’s been our honor.”
ALL ARTS captured the annual affair and will air the program Sunday. Over the course of nearly four hours, from 8 p.m. to 11:40 p.m., viewers have a chance to immerse themselves in the history and music of Ellington and to learn about the next wave of jazz musicians. After the premiere, the full program will be available on the free ALL ARTS app on Roku and anywhere else you stream. App users will also have access to a treasure trove of free bonus performances.
See below for more details about Sunday’s broadcast, and check out some behind-the-scenes photos from the competition.
8 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Watch the students ‘Duke’ it out on stage. This presentation is hosted by Roxy Coss and Patrick Bartley.
9:41 p.m. to 10:08 p.m.: You’ve seen them perform, now see one band be crowned winner of this year’s competition.
10:08 p.m. to 11:40 p.m.: Wynton Marsalis, Rodney Whitaker, Wycliffe Gordon and Dan Block lead an all-Ellington showcase with a group of young rising jazz stars. The band includes 14 of the best young professionals on the scene, many of whom came up through the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band program. Hosted by musicians and Essentially Ellington alums, Roxy Coss and Patrick Bartley.
Top Image: Courtesy of Ayano Hisa for Jazz at Lincoln Center.