Duke Ellington’s music is at the very heart of America’s 20th-century musical heritage and the core of the rich canon of jazz music. Jazz at Lincoln Center, committed to instilling a broader understanding of this music, created the Essentially Ellington program (EE) during the 1995–96 school year to make Ellington’s music accessible to as many high school musicians as possible and to support the development of their schools’ music programs.
The Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program provides FREE music and resources to high school jazz bands. FREE membership benefits for your high school jazz band include:
Jazz Music Institute (JMI) and Jazz at Lincoln Center are partnering to present the Essentially Ellington Down Under Regional Festival. In 2018, the festival will be held in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, offering high school jazz bands and music directors/musicians of all sorts some excellent performance and professional development opportunities.
The Essentially Ellington Down Under Regional Festival will be adjudicated using the rubric developed by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Click here to download the adjudication criteria and rubric.
In addition to holding a competition in each major city, there will be a FULL DAY professional development workshop with the two Jazz at Lincoln Center representatives the following day.
The Essentially Ellington Jazz Workshop is open to anyone and is not restricted to directors performing in the competition or even current teachers. The workshop is perfect for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of jazz music and techniques for how to teach jazz to young people.
The Essentially Ellington Jazz Workshop is an excellent professional development opportunity to hear, engage and interact with two internationally renowned performers and educators.
Topics that are covered in the teachers conference include:
(All costs include GST)
Big Band Registration = $330
Big Band Registration + Teachers Workshop = $440
Teachers Workshop (1 person) = $165
Group Registration Teachers Workshop = Buy 3 and get 1 free!
Big Band Festival
Brisbane – 23rd August 2018 – Marist College Ashgrove
Perth – 26th August 2018 – TBA
Adelaide – 29th August 2018 – Brighton Secondary School
Melbourne – 1st September 2018 – AIM Melbourne
Sydney – 4th September 2018 – TBA
Brisbane – 24th August 2018 – JMI Brisbane
Perth – 27th August 2018 – TBA
Adelaide – 30th August 2018 – Brighton Secondary School
Melbourne – 2nd September 2018 – AIM Melbourne
Sydney – 5th September 2018 – TBA
The festival will be held from midday onwards in each city. There are performance times available for either during school hours or after school hours, depending on your school’s preference. You are able to specify your preferred performance time on the registration form.
Vincent Gardner was born in Chicago in 1972 and was raised in Hampton, Virginia. After singing, playing piano, violin, saxophone, and French horn at an early age, he decided on the trombone at age 12. He attended Florida A&M University and the University of North Florida. He soon caught the ear of Mercer Ellington, who hired Gardner for his first professional job.
After graduating from college, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, completed a world tour with Lauryn Hill in 2000, then joined the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Gardner has served as instructor at The Juilliard School, as visiting instructor at Florida State University and Michigan State University, and as adjunct instructor at The New School.
He has contributed many arrangements to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and other ensembles. In 2009 he was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center to write “The Jesse B. Semple Suite,” a 60-minute suite inspired by the short stories of Langston Hughes. Gardner is featured on a number of notable recordings and has recorded five CDs as a leader for Steeplechase Records. He has performed with The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin, Harry Connick, Jr., The Saturday Night Live Band, Chaka Khan, A Tribe Called Quest, and many others.