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Three area high school jazz bands competing in prestigious festival

Essentially Ellington's Facebook page

Three area high schools jazz bands are in New York this weekend to compete in the 18th annual Essentially Ellington Festival, the most prestigious high school jazz band competition in the country. 

Edmonds-Woodway High School, as well as bands from Seattle's Garfield and Roosevelt high schools are among the 15 national finalists from across the U.S. and Canada. 

Legendary jazz trumpeter WyntonMarsalis kicked off the three-day festival by addressing the students Friday afternoon. 

The finalists will perform over the next two days, then the top three winners will be announced at 1 p.m. Sunday. The entire competition will be livestreamed online.

Two local bands will perform Saturday—Garfield Jazz Band at approximately 1:15 p.m., and Edmonds-Woodway around 2:30 p.m. Roosevelt’s band will perform on Sunday at 10 a.m.  

For Garfield, this year's festival is the twelfth time in 15 years it has been selected to compete under the direction of Clarence Acox.   

Garfield has won the competition four times. Roosevelt routinely scores high, and placed second last year. Edmonds-Woodway has been a finalist several times.

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.