Entries by Vail Jazz

From the 2017 Vail Jazz Party… A fly on the wall

A review of Friday’s performances by Shauna Farnell The 23rd Annual Vail Jazz Party is off and running, the first two nights of performances thundering forth one barrage of talent and energy after another. The highlights thus far have twinkled in a blinding array of sparkles too numerous to name. Among them though, the unblinking, […]

The Singing and Guitar Playing Miracle

Born in 1915 in Cotton Plant, Ark., Sister Rosetta Tharpe (as she became known) was the child of African American cotton pickers. Little is known about her father, but her mother, Katie Bell Nubin, was an extremely important figure in her life. Katie was a congregant of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), a […]

The art of the jam session

The Vail Jazz Party is a breeding ground for spontaneous and sometimes unlikely musical magic Howard Stone likens a jazz jam session to a fantastic conversation. Sometimes you fall into a vibrant discussion that surprises you. It not only makes you feel alive with cognitive and creative power, but introduces  ideas and perspectives you’d never […]

Jimmy and the Beast

Most of us associate a pipe organ with church, but well before the Ninth Century when pipe organs were first used in Western liturgical music, they were played while gladiators battled in the arenas of the Roman Empire. By the Middle Ages, large pipe organs were installed in important cathedrals in the West, but due […]

Grammy winner Eliane Elias lands in Vail this Thursday

Grammy winner Eliane Elias shares song-inspired stories from fans Eliane Elias has been living out of a suitcase for nearly 40 years. Starting her career as a teenager in her native São Paulo, the Brazilian singer/pianist has been on a trajectory that’s ranged from steadily to steeply upward. “I work very hard at what I […]

Not the Girl from Ipanema

Ask someone about Brazilian jazz and the likely response is bossa nova and “The Girl from Ipanema.” The 1964 recording was a smash hit for Brazilian vocalist Astrud Gilberto and American saxophonist Stan Getz and it propelled the bossa nova sound to world-wide popularity. Ipanema is a toney beach neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro and […]

Here comes ¡Cubanismo!

The famed, 14-piece Cuban ensemble performs in Vail this Thursday Dr. Michael Davison has been to Cuba 40 times. Like Cubanismo frontman Jesús Alemañy, he is a mastermind on the trumpet and has played for decades. Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Ensemble at the University of Richmond, Davison can emulate just about any of history’s trumpet-playing […]

Chief of the Congueros

In 1917, Ramón Santamaría Rodriquez was born into poverty in a slum in Havana, Cuba. Nicknamed “Mongo” (a tribal chief in Senegal) by his father, he began to play the violin but switched to drums at an early age, settling on the conga drum as his primary instrument. As a teen, Mongo Santamaría (as he […]