Skip To ContentSkip To Content
    RHS Jazz Band Wins Essentially Ellington
    Posted on 05/13/2019
    This is the image for the news article titled RHS Jazz Band Wins Essentially Ellington By Paul de Barros
    Special to The Seattle Times

    When Seattle's Roosevelt High School was announced Saturday as the winner of this year's Essentially Ellington high school jazz competition in New York, the local jazz community not only swelled with pride but also heaved a sigh of relief.

    Finally, the drought was over. No Seattle band had taken first place at the competition since Garfield High School won in 2010. Since then, local bands had consistently made the finals, with Roosevelt netting third in 2013 and second in 2011 and 2012, but fell short of grasping the brass ring.

    "The kids set a goal for themselves to make it into the top three this year, and they were on it, in a big way," said Roosevelt band director Scott Brown, shortly after landing at Sea-Tac airport with the band Sunday. "We won the Super Bowl."

    The comparison is apt. Started by Wynton Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Center in 1996 and opened to the West Coast in 1999, Essentially Ellington is the most prestigious competition in high school jazz. Fifteen bands compete each year, with Garfield High School and Snoqualmie's Mount Si High School joining Roosevelt in making the cut this year, from a field of 112 bands across North America. Between 2002 and 2010, Seattle dominated the competition: between them, Garfield and Roosevelt alone won first place seven times during that period.

    Read more .....