dillard_jazz.jpgNEW YORK (AP) – A Florida high school has won Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington high school jazz band competition, finishing ahead of two Seattle-area schools.

The first-place trophy and a $5,000 award were presented by JALC artistic director Wynton Marsalis to the Dillard Center for the Arts of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at Saturday night's award ceremony and concert at Avery Fisher Hall. The band, directed by Christopher Dorsey, finished second in last year's competition.

Seattle's Roosevelt High School took second place, while suburban Mountlake Terrace High School finished third. Honorable mention went to the New World School of the Arts of Miami, Fla.

The three-day competition featured 15 finalist bands – chosen from among 110 entries _ performing selected Duke Ellington compositions and for the first time music composed for the Count Basie Orchestra.

Photo above:  Dillard Center for the Arts