May 12, 2017
On Friday, May 12th, more than 300 high school jazz musicians, band directors, and parents were joined by world-renowned musician and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis for #UnitedWeSwing. The “Second Line” Parade from Columbus Circle Park to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall celebrated and supported arts programs and arts education nationwide.
The Second Line – a traditional brass band parade in jazz and New Orleans culture – served as a kickoff for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 22nd Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, an innovative jazz education program that brought 16 high school jazz bands to New York City for workshops and performances. As part of the #UnitedWeSwing Parade, the students performed traditional brass band tunes along Columbus Circle.
The #UnitedWeSwing Parade, while honoring the students and band directors competing in Essentially Ellington, also showcased how unique arts education programs empower young artists to learn, create, and play. Amidst proposed cuts to arts funding in the federal budget, this Second Line demonstrated both the importance of preserving the arts as well as the need to protect the next generation’s access to arts education, which is the foundation of their self-expression and free speech.
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