Entries by vailjazzteam

Hot Sardines Heat Up the Holidays

The eight-piece throwback jazz band likely to get feet moving in special Ritz-Carlton performance Why is the sound of old jazz making new waves? Elizabeth Bougerol of The Hot Sardines has a simple explanation. “It’s a joyous, connective experience,” said the Sardines’ singer. “And these days people are starved for that sense of connection more […]

Magic on tap for 2018 Vail Jazz Party

In its 24th year, the summer grand finale over Labor Day weekend has become famous for its rare fusion of talent. When you see an artist perform live you’re naturally moved by their talent – by the way they’re able to mix up their regular numbers, extend solos, improvise. How about if you rotated 35 […]

Inside the Vail Jazz Festival: Organ Donors

Hammond, Leslie, Cobbs & Smith … do the names sound like a law firm? Actually, the first two men were inventors, the third was a man of the cloth and the fourth was a musician. Collectively, their respective contributions to organ music shaped the future of the sounds of Gospel, jazz and much more. So […]

A moment in the life of a musical prodigy

Esteban Castro was running to escape the rain before the biggest experience of his young life, performing in the prestigious Montreux Jazz Piano Competition in Switzerland. Only 13, he was the youngest pianist in the history of the contest and was up against extraordinarily talented adults from all over the world. He’d been practicing a […]

Inside the Vail Jazz Festival: James Morrison, one-man band

Recently I wrote a column about the joy of discovering new musicians. This is another story of a fabulous “find” – Australian James Morrison. It wasn’t until the 90s that I first heard about James, although he had already performed in the U.S. in the late 80s at the Monterey Jazz Festival when he was […]

The key ingredients to musical chemistry

Take it from a world-class organist, drummer and guitarist … the jazz miracle doesn’t happen every day Akiko Tsuruga likens the feeling of perfect musical chemistry to a heavenly experience in the beauty salon. “Sometimes the person cutting my hair is so nervous. They’ve never cut Asian hair and they don’t know what to do […]

Inside the Vail Jazz Festival: The Joy of Discovering Akiko

One of the great joys of my life has been “discovering” jazz musicians. As a listener, I find myself simultaneously moving in two directions – backward in time, discovering many of the jazz greats that are no longer with us, as well as forward in time, as I try to stay current by hearing all […]

The ‘dark side’ of a young vocalist

Jazz singer Veronica Swift’s unlikely role models have shaped her powerful stage presence Veronica Swift’s wide range doesn’t just apply to her vocal talent. When citing her musical inspirations, the 24-year-old first names legendary jazz singer Anita O’Day. However, she is quick to point out that she’s also been greatly influenced by opera, hard rock […]

Inside the Vail Jazz Festival: The Art of Scatting

Well before the spoken word, early humans were singing (using their vocal cords to create musical tones) and to that extent, the human voice was the first musical instrument. Since language hadn’t yet evolved, it is speculated that the human voice was used to recreate the sounds heard in nature. What is certain is that […]

Channeling the voice of a legend

As early as she can remember, Nicki Parrott has been drawn to the voice of Peggy Lee. Hailing from New South Wales, Australia, Parrott grew up constantly listening to classical music and started playing piano before she was 5 years old. She added the flute to her repertoire a few years later and began joining […]