Seattle’s Garfield High School, under the direction of Clarence Acox, took top honors on Monday, May 10th in New York at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 15th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. The school, based in Seattle’s historic Central District, made competition history, becoming the first band ever to win the competition four times. Last year, the band also took top honors.
Garfield was selected as the winner by a panel of judges composed of distinguished jazz musicians and historians – Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis; composer, conductor, and Ellington authority David Berger; leading Mary Lou Williams scholar Ted Buehrer; legendary jazz saxophonist and composer/arranger Jimmy Heath; and bassist and educator Rodney Whitaker – from among the 15 finalist bands from the U.S. and Canada that completed in the competition. At the awards ceremony, Marsalis presented Acox with the 1st place trophy and an award of $5,000. Scott Brown, Director of Seattle’s Roosevelt High School Jazz Band, accepted the award for honorable mention band and received an award of $750. Another Seattle-area band, Edmonds-Woodway high school also competed.
Celebration concert by the Garfield and Roosevelt HighSchool Jazz Bands on Wednesday, June 9, 7:30pm, McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Suggested donation $20 at the door, proceeds will benefit the high school music programs and the Seattle Center Foundation.

Leave a Reply