The 28th Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival will soon bring together the most talented jazz students in the nation for three days of workshops, jam sessions, rehearsals, and performances at the “House of Swing” at Lincoln Center. Among the select group of fifteen 2023 finalist bands is once again the New World School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble, led by NWSA Associate Professor Senior of Jazz and Instrumental Studies – Jim Gasior. Essentially Ellington (EE) High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival on Festival takes place May 11 – 13, 2023 in New York City.
Selected from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington library, the NWSA Jazz Ensemble recorded and submitted Chloe, and Chinoiserie, both by Duke Ellington, as well as Congo Mulence composed by Ahmad Khatab Salim. They judged the performances based on the categories of Soulfulness, Rhythm Section, Soloing / Improvisation, Interpretation and Basic Musicianship/Technique.
In the last twenty-four years, New World School of the Arts has participated in Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival fifteen times, placing in the top three on six occasions. “The opportunity to prepare, record, and travel to New York – to share this music with thousands of listeners is a tremendous highlight for our High School Jazz Ensemble,” said Jim Gasior.
Throughout March and April, Jazz at Lincoln Center will send, free of charge, a professional jazz musician to each of the fifteen finalist bands to lead an intensive day-long workshop of rehearsals, lessons, and masterclasses. This free clinic is part of the rich decades-long history of this unique music education program, which has reached thousands of high school students across all 50 United States, Canada, and American schools abroad. The Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival will conclude on May 13 with a concert and awards ceremony featuring the three top-placing bands and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. New World School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble, along with the other finalists, will compete in the prestigious 28th Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival for the coveted first place. In addition to this highest honor, the NWSA Jazz Ensemble has competed against other outstanding high school Jazz bands from across the nation proudly bringing home the coveted first-place title of the 2008 Savannah Music Festival’s (SMF) Swing Central High School Jazz Band Competition. In 2010 the NWSA Jazz Ensemble participated in the Thelonious Monk Institute national Peer-To-Peer Jazz Education Program, joining other students from across the nation. Moreover, the jazz musicians had the honor of representing South Florida as they participated in Jazz Studio, a music series initiative held at The White House, also in 2010.
Numerous New World School of the Arts jazz students have been recognized for their musicianship on a national scale. NWSA students have also received Downbeat Student Music Awards, Young Arts talent search awards, and many other national awards honors and invitations. Information about New World School of the Arts music division at 305-237-3622.
A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, New World School of the Arts is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and University of Florida. NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative, and academic development through a curriculum that reflects our community and the rich multicultural state of Florida. Through our partners NWSA confers the high school diploma, Associate of Arts degree, and Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees in programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theater and Art & Design. NWSA’s rigorous eight-year curriculum and conservatory-style teaching has empowered students in our community and our nation to become leaders in the arts for more three decades.
Information about New World School of the Arts at 305-237-3135 or nwsa.mdc.edu.