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Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program

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Welcome to the online application process for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Program! Here, you’ll find information on submitting materials for the Competition & Festival, Student Composition/Arranging Contest, Comments Only, and Equity and Inclusion Initiative. When submitting an application, please be sure to select the appropriate program from the drop-down on your right.

Should you have any questions about Essentially Ellington, please visit www.jazz.org/ee or contact us at ee@jazz.org or (212) 258-9861. We look forward to reviewing your materials!

Should you experience any technical difficulties with uploading or submitting your materials, please visit support.getacceptd.com. (Jazz at Lincoln Center is not able to assist with technical issues on this site).


Competition & Festival
Application Deadline: Wednesday, February 9, 2022 by 11:59pm EDT

Acceptance to the Competition & Festival will be determined by geographic region. The country is divided into five (5) regions (see below to find out which region your state or province/territory falls) and we will select three (3) bands from each to attend the annual Competition & Festival in New York City. The regions were determined by combining the number of participating EE bands in each state to create regional boundaries. Each region has approximately the same number of participating EE bands. We want our finalists to accurately represent the greatest jazz bands across the country, so this means that high school and community bands all have an equal opportunity to make it to the Festival.

You are encouraged to make a recording of your band performing three (3) charts, no matter what your level of ensemble or experience. Every submission receives thorough qualitative and quantitative comments from our recording adjudicators, as well as a signed certificate of merit.

The 2022 Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival will be held Thursday, May 5 through Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Student Composition/Arranging Contest
Application Deadline: Wednesday, February 9, 2022 by 11:59pm EDT

In the spirit of creativity and honoring our jazz legacy, Essentially Ellington seeks to encourage young musicians to compose and arrange by offering the Essentially Ellington Student Composition/Arranging Contest. Submissions are critiqued by composer, arranger, and JLCO tenor saxophonist, Ted Nash, and the winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize, a composition lesson with Ted Nash, and a trip to New York City to observe the JLCO recording session and the Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival, May 5–7, 2022.


Comments Only
Application Deadline: Friday, April 8, 2022 by 11:59pm EDT

A non-competitive alternative to the Competition & Festival, directors are encouraged to make a recording of your band performing one, two, or three charts, no matter what your level of ensemble or experience. Every submission receives thorough qualitative and quantitative comments from our recording adjudicators and a signed certificate of merit.


Equity and Inclusion
Initiative
Application Deadline: Friday, November 19, 2021

In the spirit of honoring our jazz heritage, we seek to enrich high school-aged jazz band programs by launching the Essentially Ellington Equity and Inclusion Initiative. The mission of this Initiative is to develop and support systemically under-served and/or underrepresented jazz programs that show outstanding promise.