Tucson Jazz Institute wins national competition

Updated: May. 14, 2017 at 11:37 AM MST
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(Source: Tucson Jazz Institute)
(Source: Tucson Jazz Institute)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A Tucson jazz school has captured a national honor for the third time in five years.

The Tucson Jazz Institute placed first at the 22nd annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival in New York City.

TJI was one of 15 high school jazz bands to take part in the competition, which it won for the third time. The also won in 2013 and 2014.

A number of TJI students were also recognized for their individual performances and the group was also honored for its rhythm and trombone sections.

Taking home individual accolades were: Brendan Kellam for outstanding tap dancer, Andrew Gianetti for outstanding alto saxophone, Kevin Choi for outstanding baritone saxophone, Richie Brennan for outstanding trombone, Miranda Agnew for outstanding trumpet, and Joel Petrass received an honorable mention on clarinet.

Coming in second and third respectively, the Denver School of the Arts and Dillard Center for the Arts.

Also a notable first -- a jazz band from Cuba was among those who took part in the three-day competition.

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