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. Each submission will receive thorough qualitative feedback from Jazz at Lincoln Center clinicians in accordance with the Essentially Ellington rubric.

Recipients will receive: 

-continued support from Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) Education staff;
-access to sheet music from previous years in the Essentially Ellington library;
-workshops in your band room with JALC-sponsored and local clinicians;
-full tuition scholarship to the 2023 Band Director Academy in New York City; and
-the opportunity to attend a Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra sound check while on tour (as available)

Qualifying bands MUST: 

-be a member of the Essentially Ellington Program. To register for FREE please click HERE.
-have an existing jazz band that meets at least once a week during the academic year;
-be a Title 1 school OR at least 40% of band members qualify for free or reduced lunch;
-have 70% of students from diverse backgrounds as demonstrated by a variety of factors, including but not limited to: socioeconomic background, cultural heritage, race, ethnicity, and geographic origin; and
-submit an application that includes two video recordings of your band performing live – no editing. One video must feature your band performing a work from the Essentially Ellington Library (over 150 tunes) and the other may include any tune from your band’s existing repertoire. Choose pieces that best display the strengths of your band. The video recordings should be of the best quality possible, though professional capture is not required; iPhone videos will be accepted. Audition materials should be submitted through the online portal, Acceptd. Acceptable video file formats include MPEG, MPG, MP4, OGG, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, VOB, FLV. For assistance uploading content to your application, please visit Acceptd’s helpdesk webpage.

If accepted to the Initiative, bands must either apply for the 2023 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival OR submit recordings through our Comments Only program. *Note: finalist bands for the Competition & Festival are limited to 25 participating students. Previous Competition & Festival finalist bands and international ensembles are not eligible to apply. All submissions must be submitted by Friday, November 14, 2022 by 11:59pm. For more information or if you have any questions concerning your entry, please feel free to contact Oliver Beardsley at 212-258-9861 or ee@jazz.org.

To complete an application and submit a chart and recording, please click HERE and select “Equity and Inclusion Initiative from the dropdown menu on the left.