Gelb, courtesy of his website.

Sanford jazz saxaphonist Gregg Gelb and the Raleigh-based Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble will perform in May at New York City’s Lincoln Center as part of the “Essentially Ellington” high school band competition which honors jazz legend Duke Ellington, the Rant has learned.

Gelb’s ensemble is one of 15 selected out of more than 100 jazz groups from across the nation as finalists to perform in the 22nd annual competition, which also doubles as a music festival on the weekend of May 11-13, according to a news release from Gelb and the Triangle Youth Ensemble.

“Each school submitted recordings of three tunes performed from charts from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington library. Over 4,500 high school bands are members of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2016-17 Essentially Ellington program and benefited from free charts and resources,” the release reads.

The Raleigh-based Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble was established in 2005 under the auspices of the non-profit Philharmonic Association, according to the press release, and was awarded the Raleigh Medal of Arts in 2012 for extraordinary contribution to the arts.

Gelb has a lengthy and impressive background in jazz and teaches at Central Carolina Community College in Sanford. He founded Sanford’s Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra, which performs regularly in Sanford and elsewhere.

Watch a video of Gelb and the Hear of Carolina Jazz Orchestra practicing and performing in 2009 below: