Trum­pet great to join Dil­lard Jazz Ensem­ble for Es­sen­tially Elling­ton ben­e­fit con­cert

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Go! - By Ben Crandell bcran­[email protected]­

The na­tion­ally renowned Dil­lard Cen­ter for the Arts Jazz Ensem­ble will per­form with ac­claimed trum­peter and com­poser Jon Fad­dis on Sun­day, April 14, a ben­e­fit con­cert for the DCA band’s trip to the pres­ti­gious Es­sen­tially Elling­ton High School Jazz Band Com­pe­ti­tion & Fes­ti­val in New York May 9-11.

The “Sweet Dil­lard Jazz” con­cert takes place at 4 p.m. in the school’s Dil­lard Cen­ter for the Arts The­ater, 2501 NW 11th St., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $20 and can be pur­chased at Dil­ show­time and by call­ing the box of­fice at 754-322-0838. Tickets, if avail­able, also will be sold at the door.

Led by band di­rec­tor Christo­pher Dorsey, the Dil­lard ensem­ble is one of South Florida’s great cul­tural trea­sures and a fix­ture at Wyn­ton Marsalis’ Es­sen­tially Elling­ton, an in­vi­ta­tion-only com­pe­ti­tion among the na­tion’s best high school jazz bands.

The band at Dil­lard, where Can­non­ball Ad­der­ley was once band di­rec­tor, is a three-time win­ner at Es­sen­tially Elling­ton and the de­fend­ing cham­pion this year. Its re­turn as a 2019 fi­nal­ist marks the ninth time in the past 10 years that the band has been in­vited to the fi­nals, held at Jazz at Lin­coln Cen­ter.

Past mem­bers have gone on to per­form at some of the most pres­ti­gious col­lege jazz pro­grams in the coun­try — in­clud­ing Michi­gan State Univer­sity, the Univer­sity of Miami, the Juil­liard School of Mu­sic and the Berklee Col­lege of Mu­sic — and Dorsey’s lead­er­ship of the band was the sub­ject of a doc­u­men­tary film, “Sweet Dil­lard.”

Fad­dis knows about pre­co­cious tal­ent first-hand: At age 17 he joined the Lionel Hamp­ton Band as a fea­tured soloist and a year later was in­vited to sit in with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Band at the Vil­lage Van­guard, the be­gin­ning of a fouryear re­la­tion­ship with the band.

The day af­ter his per­for­mance with the Dil­lard Jazz Ensem­ble, Fad­dis will play New York’s es­teemed Blue Note Jazz Club.


Band di­rec­tor Christo­pher Dorsey leads the Dil­lard Cen­ter for the Arts Jazz Ensem­ble at the 2018 Es­sen­tially Elling­ton High School Jazz Band Com­pe­ti­tion & Fes­ti­val.

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