wynton_marsalis_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — For the second year, the Dillard Center for the Arts Jazz Ensemble took first place at the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, May 4-6.

The band also took first place in last year’s competition and finished second the prior year.

Supporters and fans of the music are celebrating the latest accomplishment with a concert on Wednesday, May 30, 7 p.m. at Dillard High School, 2501 N.W. 11th St., Fort Lauderdale.  The cost is $10 per person; for information contact 954-214-0320 or info@dcajazz.com

Fifteen high school bands made the cut to compete among the best of the best from more than 100 nationally that qualified to apply. Dillard was one of the three top bands chosen by a panel of judges composed of distinguished jazz musicians and historians, including Jazz at Lincoln Center's Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis.

This year’s 17th Annual Essentially Ellington culminated with Sunday night's concert at New York City's famed Avery Fisher Hall, featuring the three top-placing bands performing with a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as a soloist, followed by a performance of the 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

Following the performances Marsalis presented awards to each of the 15 finalist bands. Christopher Dorsey, director of the Dillard Center for the Arts accepted the first place trophy and an award of $5,000. The New World School of the Arts (Miami) won second place and $2,500; Roosevelt High School (Seattle, Wash.) third and $1,000. All monetary awards go to improve the schools' jazz programs.

Recognized with Outstanding ratings for their solo performances were Dillard’s Jonathan Hainsworth, tenor saxophone; Max Boiko and Anthony Hervey, trumpet; Christian Dorsey, lead trumpet; and Sydney Henry, drums. Both the reed and trombone sections of Dillard’s ensemble also were recognized with an Outstanding rating.

Photo: Wynton Marsalis