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Seattle's Roosevelt High School jazz band wins top spot at Essentially Ellington competition

Roosevelt High School jazz band in New York at the 2019 Essentially Ellington competition
Ayano Hisa
Jazz at Lincoln Center
Roosevelt High School jazz band at the 2019 Essentially Ellington competition in New York

Seattle's Roosevelt High School won first place in the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival on Saturday.

The band played against 14 other finalists in the prestigious national competition put on by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

This is the fourth time Roosevelt has taken the top spot at Essentially Ellington. The school previously won in 2008, 2007 and 2002.

Two other local schools competed in this year's competition. Seattle's Garfield High School and Snoqualmie's Mount Si High School also received some commendations and honorable mentions.

The second- and third-place finishers were from Texas and Massachusetts, respectively. 

The first-place award comes with a $5,000 prize for improving jazz education programs. The second-place prize was $2,500 and the third-place prize was $1,000. The 12 other finalists each received $500 for their programs.

A Seattle native and former KNKX intern, Simone Alicea spent four years as a producer and reporter at KNKX. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University and covered breaking news for the Chicago Sun-Times. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.