TJI Ellington Big Band Musical Instrument Museum Phoenix, ArizonaJanuary 14, 2014 The Ellington Big Band of the Tucson Jazz Institute delivered an ambitious repertoire that ranged from Wynton Marsalis's complex The Tree of Freedom" to a Pat Metheny chart, with plenty of Ellingtonia in between. This high school band was a three-peat winner of the Essentially Ellington" competitions in 2010, 2012 and 2013 for Best Community High School Jazz Band," and will try for number four in May, said director Doug Tidaback. The high-energy band showcased its standout members, including tripler" Robbie Lee, ...read more
Since the advent of Jazz At Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington program in 1995, schools across America have had the chance to dig into real deal charts, exploring note-for-note transcriptions of tunes written by--or associated with--Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Mary Lou Williams and Benny Carter. This music, written by the best-of-the-best for the-best-of-the-best, was never really meant to be played by youngsters, but plenty of student bands have proven that they can rise to the challenge and handle these heavyweight charts. The Tucson Jazz Institute's Ellington Big Band, for example, has done it time and again. ...read more
To accentuate the positive, the ten-year-old Ellington Big Band, flagship ensemble of the Tucson (AZ) Jazz Institute, established its credentials by earning first-place honors twice (2010, 2012) in Jazz at Lincoln Center's annual Essentially Ellington competition, and has been named best Performing Arts High School Jazz Band by DownBeat magazine. On the heels of these honors, the band displays its muscle and savvy on Things to Come, a wide-ranging anthology of jazz and popular standards that have stood the test of time. Doug Tidaback, who has directed the Ellington Big Band since its inception, is understandably proud ...read more
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