Brisbane’s Jazz Music Institute (JMI) and New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) return to tour Australia with their regional festival, Essentially Ellington.

The relationship with Jazz at the Lincoln Center happened through a visit by Dan Quigley to New York where he met with Wynton Marsalis and Todd Stoll, the Vice President of Education at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Designed to offer high school jazz bands of all levels the opportunity to perform the music of Duke Ellington and other big band composers, and to receive professional feedback from Jazz at Lincoln Center clinicians and other jazz professionals in their own communities.

Free resources are provided including transcriptions of the original big band charts composers and band leaders including Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, Mary Lou Williams, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie.

In its 20-year history, Jazz at Lincoln Center has distributed more than 120,000 charts to more than 4,200 schools, reaching over 504,000 students throughout the US and other countries.

Following on from 2016, the first nation-wide Essentially Ellington Down Under Regional Festival gave performance and educational opportunities to over 600 high school kids and over 100 music teachers across the country.

This year, all ensembles will again receive written and recorded adjudication from a Jazz at Lincoln Center clinician from the US and will then receive a private workshop with their JLCO adjudicator/clinician after the performance.

The Essentially Ellington Jazz Workshop will continue to run in conjunction with the festival in each city.  The workshops will focus on techniques for teaching young people how to play jazz. Anyone interested can sign up via the Jazz Music Institute (JMI) website



The Essentially Ellington Down Under Regional Festival will take place on the following dates:
Brisbane – 10th & 11th August
Perth – 13th & 14th August
Melbourne – 16th & 17th August
Sydney – 20th & 21st August

To register for Essentially Ellington and to access the free resources (scores and charts) become a member by signing up to the Essentially Ellington 2016-17 program (it’s free!) at

Email or visit the JMI website for more information about the Essentially Ellington Down Under Regional Festival school performance/workshop and the Essentially Ellington Teachers Conference.