Performers from 15 US high school jazz ensembles, and one from Cuba, came together last weekend to share performances and learn from mentors during Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition and Festival. Among those bands coming out at the top was Newark Academy's (Livingston, NJ) Chameleon big band, which received honorable mention. The band was also honored for Outstanding Rhythm Section and Outstanding Reed Section, and several of its musicians received individual recognition.
First place went to Tucson Jazz Institute, Denver School of the Arts came in second, and Dillard Center for the Arts in Fort Lauderdale, FL, placed third.
A Tempo host Rachel Katz this week (5/20) speaks with Todd Stoll, vice president of education at Jazz at Lincoln Center, about the event, as well as the state of jazz education in American schools. She also checks in with Newark Academy Jazz Director Julius Tolentino and two of its students - Allen Zhu, who was recognized for Outstanding Tenor Saxophone, and Teddy McGraw, named Outstanding Drums.