The Dillard Center of the Arts performs in the Essentially Ellington competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City in May, 2012.

The jazz band at Fort Lauderdale's Dillard Center for the Arts has again been selected from nearly 100 high schools across the country to perform in the finals of the prestigious Essentially Ellington competition at Lincoln Center in New York. It is the fourth straight year that the DCA band has made the final 15 in the so-called “Super Bowl of high school jazz competitions,” which they will be trying to win for the third year in a row (2012's winning moment pictured).

But first they have to get there, and the band, a magnet program with students from across Broward County led by charismatic music director Christopher Dorsey, needs about $25,000 to make that happen.

Part of the fundraising effort includes the Denim & Diamonds Gala, 7-11:30 p.m. March 8 at the Westin Hotel Cypress Creek (400 Corporate Drive, Fort Lauderdale).  Tickets to the evening of dinner and dancing to the DCA band are $65, $120 per couple.

To RSVP (by March 1), buy tickets or get more information on donating to the cause, email Info@DCAJazz.com,  call 954-214-0320 or go to DCAJazz.com.

To hear what you'll be supporting, here is the band's sublime winning performance at last year's Essentially Ellington:

Photo: Mike Stocker, Sun Sentinel

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