Local youth jazz ensemble selected for Lincoln Center competition
The Community Arts Program (CAP) All-Star Jazz Ensemble, an after-school program offered at the Coral Gables Congregational Church, is headed for the Lincoln Center in New York City.
Jazz at Lincoln Center recently announced the finalist bands for its prestigious 18th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival.
With over 100 recordings submitted from youth bands across the United States and Canada, the CAP All-Star Jazz Ensemble is among only 15 finalists chosen. And it is the only after-school jazz band chosen from the competition’s Region 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C, and West Virginia.
The ensemble will compete and participate in workshops, jam sessions and more during a three-day competition and festival in New York City May 10-12.
The three top-placing bands perform with the artistic director of jazz at Lincoln Center, Wynton Marsalis, as guest soloist, followed by a performance by the 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, whose members serve as mentors for the finalist bands throughout the weekend.
The festival’s finale is an awards ceremony honoring outstanding soloists, sections and the top three bands.
The CAP All-Star Jazz Ensemble was formed in 2009 and is comprised of a diverse group of serious, career-minded jazz musicians (ages 13-18) from schools throughout South Florida.
Conducted by Daniel Strange, the ensemble rehearses 6-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, August through May, at the Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ, 3010 DeSoto Blvd., opposite the Biltmore Hotel.
Over the past four seasons, the CAP All-Star Jazz Ensemble’s highlights include concert performances throughout Miami-Dade, three one-hour live radio performances on Miami jazz station WDNA 88.9FM and the opening acts for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Count Basie Orchestra.
Under the Community Arts Program’s new record label, CAP Records, the ensemble released its first recording, With a Swing!, in August 2011.
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