The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis, is made up of 15 of the finest soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers in jazz music today. Each time the group returns to the Mondavi Center, it continues to surprise with new repertoire from its talented musicians/composers, as well as presenting jazz classics from the likes of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and others. This year, they kick off the jazz series, bringing a fresh, ever-evolving glimpse of America’s music.
For more than 20 years, Jazz at Lincoln Center has dedicated itself to promoting excellence in the American Orchestral tradition through Essentially Ellington, a national program that brings authentic repertoire of legends like Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter and more to high schools throughout the United States. Each year, JALC provides more than 4,000 high schools with charts, rehearsal videos and teaching tools, encouraging students to engage with this music in a profound and meaningful way. JALC also sponsors a series of 19 regional festivals and an annual national competition each May, allowing high school big bands throughout the nation to the House of Swing for a weekend of workshops, performance, jam sessions and fellowship.
JALC is delighted to invite Rio Americano High School, an eight-time finalist in the Essentially Ellington competition, to open the evening’s performance with two selections from the program’s repertoire. This exceptional high school band’s talent and devotion to the music is an inspiration to Jazz at Lincoln Center, and a testament to the abilities of this remarkable young performers and their director, Josh Murray.
The finest big band in the world today.
—London's Daily Telegraph