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Eau Claire jazz band takes third at Lincoln Center competition

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A high school jazz band from Eau Claire has won a national honor.

The Memorial High jazz band took third place Sunday in the 14th annual "Essentially Ellington" competition at the Lincoln Center in New York.


Fifteen groups were invited to the Big Apple for three days of competition, workshops, and jam sessions with famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and big band leader Gerald Wilson.

Just more than 100 bands entered the contest.

The groups performed arrangements of jazz songs by Duke Ellington and Benny Carter.

The Eau Claire band joined two others from Seattle in a closing concert Sunday, where Marsalis was a guest soloist.

Seattle Garfield high school won the competition, and Seattle Roosevelt took second. Those same bands also won the top two spots a year ago, but in reverse order.