Mingus Combo Wins! AM Headed Back to Essentially Ellington!

Leonard Bernstein wrote the lyrics – “New York – New York’s a Wonderful Town…” and is it so true for Rio Band.

Mingus Combo wins best combo and Spirit Award:

For the second year in a row, Rio’s Mingus Combo has won the Charles Mingus Jazz Festival, held at Manhattan School of Music on Saturday. Andrew Stephens, Lucas Bere, Mikey Escobar, Joshua Kravitz, Devan Kortan, Emma Hollis and Jacob Swedlow were accompanied by Mr. Kiesner to the festival. Rio was selected as the top Combo at the festival, and was also awarded the “Mingus Spirit Award,” given to the group that best exemplifies the passion and excellence of the late, great Charles Mingus. Additionally, solo awards were won by Joshua Kravitz (piano), Andrew Stephens (trumpet), Lucas Bere (sax) and Jacob Swedlow (drums). After the festival, Lucas, Andrew and Jacob played with the famous Mingus Big Band during a gig at the Jazz Standard. WOW!

Essentially Ellington Finalists:

We just found out today that Rio’s AM Jazz Ensemble has been selected as a finalist for the Essentially Ellington Festival. This festival is put on by Wynton Marsalis and Jazz @ Lincoln Center, and is far and away the most prestigious event for high school jazz groups. This is the third year in a row Rio has been selected, and the 8th time since 2001. We’ll be traveling back to NYC in May.
Congrats to everyone. Quite a week!

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