The top 15 high school-aged jazz bands from across the country will converge at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s home for the 29th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival May 9-11. One of those jazz bands will once again be from the Osceola County School for the Arts, under the direction of Jason Anderson.

OCSA’s Jazz Band A pulled off a back to back repeat last year in New York, and is hoping to pull off a ‘three-peat’ next week when they face 14 other excellent jazz bands from around the country.

The Students will spend three days immersed in workshops, jam sessions, rehearsals, and performances, and compete for top honors in, the nation’s premier jazz education event.

Jazz at Lincoln Center marks the 125th birthday of Duke Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) with a festival of events at Frederick P. Rose Hall, the organization’s home, in New York, NY.

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2023-24 season focuses on the concept of community; the broader community of jazz; the numerous communities that nurtured its master practitioners across its timeline; the communities of consciousness that influenced these practitioners; the music’s power to bridge divides and coalesce these distinct communities; and the role of jazz – and the arts writ large – in maintaining the human connection in the digital era.

Throughout its 2023-24 season, Jazz at Lincoln Center explores these subjects with concerts featuring the forward-thinking composers, virtuosic improvisers, and ingenious conceptualists that populate the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Implicitly or explicitly, season concerts, education programs, advocacy initiatives, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra tours directly evoke themes that illuminate, as Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis puts it, the notion that, “Our music has the exceptional ability to bring people together.”

In addition to 24 unique live concerts throughout Frederick P. Rose Hall and more than 350 nights of music at Dizzy’s Club, the organization offers webcast performances via the Jazz Live app, in-person and virtual education programs, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis tour dates worldwide.

Join us in wishing OCSA’s Jazz Band A the best of luck, and a swingin’ good time!

The photo used in this article is from the 2023 OCSA Jazz Band A