In 2020, Jazz at Lincoln Center was set to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the annual Essentially Ellington (EE) festival held in New York City. For the first time in history the renowned festival will instead be held virtually due to COVID-19. With EE going virtual this year, the lineup has expanded from the usual 18 US bands set to perform. This year, five international youth jazz bands from across the world were sent special invitations to perform at this year’s festival; one of them, the incredible Blackburn High School Big Band from Melbourne, Australia.
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Blackburn High Schools’ Senior Jazz Orchestra will join jazz supremo Wynton Marsalis when they become the first band in the southern hemisphere to participate at this year’s Essentially Ellington competition in New York City.
The most prestigious event of its type in the world, Essentially Ellington is celebrating its 25th anniversary and would normally be staged live at Lincoln Centre, but has taken the opportunity to move to an online festival during COVID.