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Five Seattle-area schools selected to compete in New York City jazz competition

The local high school jazz bands are among the 18 finalists chosen to compete at the Essentially Ellington Jazz Competition in May.

SEATTLE — Five Seattle area high school jazz bands have been selected to compete in what you might call the "Super Bowl" of jazz competitions. 

The Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival is held in New York City and this will be its 25th year. It's part of the Jazz at Lincoln's Center's arts education programming.

Garfield High School, Roosevelt High School, JazzED Ellington Ensemble, and Snoqualmie Valley's Mount Si High School, and Mountlake Terrace High School were selected from 106 bands that submitted recordings. 

The local bands are among 18 finalists who will compete from May 7-9. Three top bands will be announced as winners following the competitive events, and then get to play alongside the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and its Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis. 

"Twenty-five years ago, Essentially Ellington was created to improve the quality of high school jazz programs across our nation," said Marsalis. "Since then, it has become a life-changing program developing a worldwide community of band directors, alumni, students, administrators and parents -- all are proud citizens of this music."

Roosevelt High School came in first place at last year's competition. 

Garfield High School in Seattle's Central District neighborhood has a long history of creating jazz musicians. The school also recently announced its new Director of Bands, Jazz and Drumlines Jared Sessink, who will lead the band in this year's competition. 

For a full list of the bands competing, click here.

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