The jazz band from East St. Louis High School (pictured) is one of 15 ensembles from across the United States to be accepted as finalists for Jazz at Lincoln Center's 2011 Essentially Ellington jazz band competition. (Link goes to .pdf file.)
The ESL HS band is directed by Delano Redmond, and was selected from among 110 bands that entered this year's competition. The 15 finalists will go to New York City May 12 through May 14 to compete and participate in workshops, jam sessions, and more, with members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra serving as clinicians.
The three top-placing bands will perform at Avery Fisher Hall with Wynton Marsalis, JALC's artistic director, as guest soloist, followed by a performance by the 15-piece JaLCO and an awards ceremony honoring outstanding soloists, sections and the top three bands. This is the 16th year for the Essentially Ellington program, which also includes regional festivals, teaching resources, a summer academy for band directors Academy, monthly newsletters, and more.