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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA

SAVE THE DATE! 2022 Las Vegas Regional Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Festival is ON!

The nation's largest Regional Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Festival is returning to Las Vegas, Nevada January 28-29, 2022 on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas! CLICK HERE...EARLY REGISTRATIONS ARE OPEN NOW for the coveted spots for your band(s) to participate in this exceptional experience licensed by Jazz at Lincoln Center and co-presented by Jazz Outreach Initiative and the UNLV School of Music, Division of Jazz and Commercial Music.

This festival is a non-competitive, education-focused event designed to offer high school jazz bands of all levels from CCSD and across the west the opportunity to perform the music of Duke Ellington and other big band composers. Participating bands receive professional feedback from JALC clinicians and other jazz professionals.

The Essentially Ellington Festival is focused primarily on the perpetuation of jazz in the

schools, promoting jazz as a uniquely American art form. This year’s program will feature jazz artist and the Essentially Ellington Festival Artistic Director Kenny Rampton along with world renowned jazz luminaries such as Sherrie Maricle, Julius Tolentino and others. Kenny Rampton is a UNLV alumni, acclaimed trumpeter and member of The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis. There will also be a panel of excellent clinicians for the festival.

On Friday evening, January 28th, Jazz Outreach Initiative is sponsoring a special Directors Dinner at UNLV for clinicians and educators featuring notable keynote speakers (TBA), and Kenny Rampton. In addition, a wonderful pizza party and jam session for students will be held with amazing jazz artists on the same evening. Informative master classes and inspiring clinics will also be offered both days by world-class jazz artists and educators.

On Saturday evening, Jan 29th, immediately following the awards ceremony, which will recognize outstanding soloists, sections, and many other notable performances, the world-ranked award-winning UNLV Jazz Ensemble I along with guest artists and high school outstanding soloists will perform music from Duke Ellington's extensive catalog culminating in selections from Ellington's Shakespeare-the

med suite, "Such Sweet Thunder."

In an effort to strengthen and grow the overall jazz community, all participating high schools,

students, and directors, are encouraged to take part in all events of this incredible 2-day festival including supporting each other’s performances, attending master classes, sectionals, jam sessions and all other activities.

For more information, please reach out to

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