7 O’clock Jazz Band Members Receive Awards at Essentially Ellington

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NEW YORK, NY–The 7 O’clock Jazz Band was honored to be one of only 15 high school jazz bands in the country who earned a spot at this year’s Essentially Ellington competition in New York City. During their time there, the band performed for and learned from Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra members. 

Of this year’s competition, Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, said, “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. You lifted our spirits and it’s been our honor.”

Beginning on May 9, the 15 finalist, high school jazz bands were immersed in three days of mentoring, jam sessions, and workshops. The competition culminated in a concert where each top-placing band performed with their choice Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra member as a soloist. The concert also featured the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis–whose members served as mentors for the finalist bands throughout the week–performing repertoire made famous by Duke Ellington.

Two members of the 7 O’clock Jazz Band received prestigious awards at the 2019 competition. to Jonathan Downs was honored with an Essentially Ellington Outstanding Tenor Saxophone Award and Andrew Stine received an Essentially Ellington Outstanding Baritone Saxophone Award.

Photos and video from this year’s competition are now posted on the Essentially Ellington Facebook page. For more information visit, academy.jazz.org/ee/.

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