Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jazz at Lincoln Center: Miami after-school program again named Finalist in Essentially Ellington Competition

Community Arts Program (CAP)
ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble

Jazz at Lincoln Center
2014 Essentially Ellington Finalist
For Second Consecutive Year!

Jazz at Lincoln Center has announced the finalist bands for its prestigious 19th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. With nearly 100 recordings submitted from jazz bands across the United States and Canada, Florida's Coral Gables United Church of Christ Community Arts Program (CAP) ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble is among only 15 finalists chosen. 

The CAP ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble is one of three after-school programs selected and the only after-school jazz band chosen from throughout the competition's Region 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington D.C and West Virginia. This will be the CAP ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble's second consecutive year as an Essentially Ellington finalist to perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center. 

The Community Arts Program (CAP) ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble will compete and participate in workshops, jam sessions, and more, during a three-day Competition & Festival in New York City May 8 through 10. The three top-placing bands perform with a Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra member as soloist, followed by a performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra whose members, headed by Wynton Marsalis, 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 Competition & Festival is the culmination of the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program (EE) from Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC), part of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

The CAP ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble was formed in 2009 and is comprised of a diverse group of serious, career-minded jazz musicians (ages 15-18) from schools throughout South Florida.  Conducted by Daniel Strange, the ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble rehearses 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday evenings, August through May, at the historic Coral Gables United Church of Christ. The ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble experience is designed to sharpen sight reading, style, technique, improv, rhythm, recording studio skill, college prep and career development through the practical study and performance of jazz repertoire that spans the standards to newly-composed works.

Mark Hart, CAP Executive & Artistic Director, remarks: "I am proud of all our students, parents, staff and supporters who provide the enthusiasm and springboard that truly build successful programs." Over the past five seasons, the CAP ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble's noted highlights include performances throughout Miami, five one-hour live radio shows on Miami's "serious jazz" station WDNA 88.9FM, and the opening acts for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (twice), Count Basie Orchestra, and jazz vocalist Catherine Russell. Under the Community Arts Program's new record label, CAP Records®, the ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble released its recording, With a Swing!

The entire Community Arts Program (CAP) experience offers Saturday Music Classes with instrument and music theory instruction for youth (ages 5-18). These classes are in addition to its Thursday evening "active-learning" ensembles that, with the ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble, include the Junior and Intermediate Young Musicians' OrchestrasAdvanced Chamber Ensemble, and Jazz PREP Band. An additional CAP active-learning component is CAP Records®. The CAP Records® label provides a platform for CAP students' recording projects. With this, CAP students learn the art of studio musicianship, recording production and marketing in the 21st century. The Community Arts Program also presents its renowned Summer Concert Series, begun in 1985, which brings world-renowned classical and jazz artists to South Florida. Summer Concert Series artists remain a day and provide the CAP Young Musicians' Summer Master Classes to Community Arts Program students and the community at large. In all, these bring together the mission of the Community Arts Program: To serve a diverse community by providing educational and culturally-enriching experiences through the transforming power of the arts. More at

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