Community Post

Garfield Jazz wins first place at Essentially Ellington

Huge congratulations to our neighborhood high school jazz team and their director Clarence Acox for their first-place finish at the Essentially Ellington jazz competition in New York City. Garfield competed against the best high school jazz programs across the country, including two other very good ones from the Seattle area, and walked away with the top prize for the second year in a row.

This is Garfield’s fourth 1st-place win at the festival, the most of any other school in the 15 year history of the competition.

Seattle’s Roosevelt High School, which has won 3 times in previous years, got an honorable mention at this year’s event.

Nine individual musicians from Garfield also got accolades, including:

  • Riley Mulherkar – The Ella Fitzgerald Outstanding Soloist Award (Trumpet)
  • Evan Shay – Outstanding Alto Sax
  • Graham Smith – Outstanding Alto Sax
  • Carmen Rothwell – Outstanding Bass Performance
  • Julian Garvue – Outstanding Piano
  • Ian Zapolsky – Outstanding Piano
  • Ian Frost – Outstanding Tenor Sax
  • Charlie Phillips – Outstanding Tenor Sax
  • Richelle Tanner – Outstanding Flute
  • Willem De Koch – Honorable Mention Trombone

Although we haven’t been able to find any video or audio of the performances at the festival, we’ve uploaded several clips of the band practicing Ellington’s “Shepherd” last Thursday.

Also check out the Seattle Time’s story on Garfield’s win, where they quote the Edmonds-Woodway band director as saying “Contest judges reported that they deliberated longer than they ever have and that the level of competition was never higher.”

Awesome work for all involved!

0 thoughts on “Garfield Jazz wins first place at Essentially Ellington

  1. These student performers are very amazing! I also saw the King 5 interview with the teacher before they left for the competition and he was so modest. True champions just love to play their music. Thank you for the music that makes my heart smile.

  2. Congratulations, Garfield! Who were the other two high schools that played tonight?

  3. Congratulations Garfield Jazz and the legendary Clarence Acox!!!- You’ll be the Jazz Director forever at the rate these kids keep you goin’! !!!
    -The Outstanding Alto Sax soloist is Evan Shea- I believe he’s a senior.
    Outstanding work!
    And my hearty appreciation for the ever present Central District News for keeping us on top of things-
    From an Alumni Jazz Mom

  4. Also-Outstanding Overall Soloist of the festival is Riley Mulherkar, the young man on trumpet above in the video clip.

  5. I hope theres going to be another gig when they get back.

    PS for other jazz fans who might not be aware, Acox also plays with the fantastic SRJO who consists of other fine music directors and artists from the area.