Line up for 19th Annual Vail Jazz Festival Announced

March 20, 2013 – Vail, Colorado – The Vail Jazz Foundation announces the line-up of world class jazz performers for Thursday night Jazz @ Vail Square concert series and the Labor Day Weekend Jazz Party, both part of the 19th Annual Vail Jazz Festival.

“Last year’s line-up set the bar very high for Vail Jazz, but this summer’s schedule surpasses anything we have done in our 19 year history. While ‘Jazz’ is only a four letter word, it covers a lot of musical territory, including blues, Latin, swing, Brazilian, Gospel, straight ahead, bebop and beyond, and we will offer it all and much more over a spectacular 12 week summer Jazz Festival,” said Howard Stone, the chairman and artistic director of the Vail Jazz Foundation.



Vail Jazz will once again collaborate with Bravo! Vail by jointly presenting four performances, the first of which will be on June 28th at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. “The Golden Age of Jazz” will be Bravo! Vail’s season opener and will feature jazz artists Byron Stripling, Jeff Clayton and Wycliffe Gordon along with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jeff Tyzik. In addition, Vail Jazz and Bravo! Vail will once again present the very popular “Jazz After” series of jam sessions on June 29, July 10 and July 24, with performances by members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. Tickets for Jazz After will go on sale soon.



In addition, the very popular Jazz @ The Market returns to the Vail Farmers’ Market each Sunday, June 23- August 25th, with free shows in the jazz tent on the green at Solaris. For the first time Vail Jazz will introduce Jammin’ Jazz Kids, which includes elements of the popular Jazz Goes to School program as complimentary programming with the Jazz @ The Market series. On three Sundays, July 7, 28 and August 18, prior to the performance in the jazz tent, children ages 6 to 12 are invited to join jazz musicians for an interactive, educational jazz experience that allows each participant a hands-on opportunity to learn the fundamentals of jazz. Participating youth will play a variety of percussion instruments – maracas, bongos, congas, tambourines, xylophones and Orff instruments. In addition, they will listen to and join with jazz musicians in playing music and learning the art of improvisation.



The 9-show series of Jazz @ Vail Square returns beginning on July 4 th and running through August 29th . The series opens on July 4 th as Vail Jazz pays tribute to “The Red, White & The Blues” featuring a double billed line-up of Vail favorite Curtist Stigers and New York blues man, SaRon Crenshaw and continues with Cuban sensation Wil Campa y su Gran Union, jazz guitar duo Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo, John Pizzarelli Quartet, Tommy Igoe Sextet, Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers and the Clayton Brothers Sextet and their students, the Vail Jazz All-Stars. The All-Stars, twelve of the best high school-aged jazz musicians, will have spent 10 days leading up to Labor Day Weekend under the tutelage of the Clayton Brothers Sextet. The Vail Jazz Workshop is widely known as the pre-eminent jazz education program in the country for young jazz musicians and serves as a launching pad for future jazz professionals.

Preferred seating will be available for $20 in advance; $25 day of show or for $99 for the nine-series Jazz Pass. “Preferred seating give guests the ability to get their choice of seats,” says Executive Director Robin Litt. “These tickets and the Jazz Pass allow you to arrive at your leisure and know that you will have a premium spot to enjoy the performance.” The remainder of the tent will remain free on a first-come, first-serve basis. Recommended donation of $5 is encouraged to support the 501(c)(3) Vail Jazz Foundation, which produces the Vail Jazz Festival and its unique educational programming that are at the core of its mission.



Labor Day Weekend marks the 19 th Annual Vail Jazz Party, a unique party format designed so every musician is featured every day of the holiday weekend, in many cases in a jam session format. Audience members have the opportunity to interact with performers in an intimate and special setting. This year’s Party features new and returning groups, accomplished soloists and a variety of special shows designed to both educate and entertain. 2013 will bring together a list of who’s who in jazz today. Favorites from 2012, Cyrille Aimée and Diego Figuerido, return after wowing Vail guests and residents in their debut appearance. Festival favorites, the Clayton Brothers Sextet (John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Terell Stafford, Wycliffe Gordon, Lewis Nash and Bill Cunliffe) will perform throughout the weekend, together and in multiple configurations, serving as anchor and a major force at the Vail Jazz Party. Drummer Jeff Hamilton will be joined by his trio mates Tamir Hendelman on piano and Christoph Luty on bass. The Vail Jazz Alumni Quartet, all past members of the Vail Jazz Workshop and current touring musicians, will be composed of Sullivan Fortner, piano, David Wong, bass, Jimmy Macbride, drums and Tia Fuller, saxophone.

The Vail Jazz Party is known for its creative and entertaining educational programming through the presentation of muti-media presentations. Special shows in 2013 will include Shelly Berg’s MultiMedia History of Stride and Boogie Woogie Piano, Jeff Clayton’s Alto Show, Ken Peplowski & Diego Figueiredo’s Tribute to Charlie Byrd and the Bossa Nova Years, and Byron Stripling’s MultiMedia Salute to Miles Davis. The Vail Jazz All-Stars will also be featured in free performances on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

The extremely popular Sunday morning Gospel show will once again be presented, but with some very special added features: joining Niki Haris’ Gospel Prayer Meetin’ will be the Mile Hi Gospel Ensemble; and the audience will be invited to sing along with Niki and the choir as songe lyrics will be provided to the audience.

Solosist include familiar faces to the Vail Jazz Party, including Ernie Adams ,drums, Karen Hammack, piano, Byron Stripling, trumpet and vocals. Newcomers to Vail will be Bruce Forman, guitar, Ken Peplowski, tenor sax, and Akiko Tsuruga, Hammond B-3 organ.

The Vail Jazz Party offers over 30 hours of jazz over a five day period, with jazz shows taking place at the Jazz Tent at Vail Square on Thursday night and during the days on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and at the event’s host hotel, the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort in the Ballroom on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Late night sets that go into the early morning hours take place at “Wing’s Place” at the Marriott and create a real jam session atmosphere for artists to stretch out and have a “musical conversation” with their peers. Jazz music floods Vail with over eight separate shows featuring multiple sets in each show.

When Howard Stone was asked to explain why the Jazz Party is so special, the usually loquacious Stone said, “Unfortunately, words cannot adequately describe the magic that takes place over the Labor Day Weekend. Suffice it to say that when you get 30 of the best jazz musician together with a crowd of passionate jazz fans in a beautiful place like Vail, great jazz happens.”

The line-up of artists for Jazz @ The Market and the Sunday night series, Jazz @ Kelly Liken, will be announced in early May.



Patron Passes for the Vail Jazz Party are now on sale at and by calling 888-VAIL JAM or 970-479-6146. The $385 Patron Pass includes priority access to all eight performances, exclusive opening night party on Thursday and dinner with the artists on Saturday. Gift certificates are also available. Tickets to Jazz @ Vail Square, Jazz After jazz jams and individual session tickets for Vail Jazz Party will go on sale soon. Lodging and travel discounts are provided to Jazz Party attendees. Information is available at .

Jazz Goes to School returns to Eagle County February 27 – March 1

February 20, 2012 – Vail, Colorado – Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s music education program for 4 th and 5th graders, returns to Eagle County schools starting February 27. This third session brings a trio of professional musician/educators into 14 local schools to share their love of jazz and American History, and to inspire young people to embrace America’s own art form, whether as spectator or musician.

The program is lead by musician/educator Tony Gulizia. “When the kids get to use their own hands to play an instrument as they do in this session, the beauty of the music really comes alive for them. They understand how it works and why improvisation is at the heart of all jazz music,” said Gulizia.

In this session, a trio of jazz musicians introduces the blues scale and other techniques used in improvisation. Students are taught the notes of the blues scale and musical concepts like dissonance. With this foundation, the older students then get a chance to try their hand at creating their own jazz by writing 12 bar blues compositions, lyrics put to a blues beat. At the final concert on April 30 and May 1 at the Vilar Performing Arts Centere a selection of the students’ blues compositions will be presented in medley to the delight of young composers, scattered in the audience. The surprise on their faces when they realize they just heard their lyrics is unforgettable.

“Most kids would never be exposed to jazz, much less understand its development and relevance to American history, without this program”, said Dawn Vallejos, music teacher at Eagle Valley Elementary School, which participates in the program. The program provides music teachers with a comprehensive curriculum, pre and post lesson plans and follow up activities, all of which complement the sessions with the musicians in the classroom.


About Jazz Goes to School

Jazz Goes to School, now in its fourteenth year, supports and promotes the jazz art form with a focus on educating young musicians and young audiences – fulfilling the mission of the Vail Jazz Foundation. Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the program for the Vail Jazz Foundation. The rhythm section for session three is completed by Gulizia’s brother Joey on drums, and Andy Hall on bass.

Jazz Goes to School is presented by the Vail Jazz Foundation (VJF) to Eagle County 4 th and 5 th graders, including all public schools plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, The Vail Academy, Stone Creek Elementary School and St. Clare of Assisi. Jazz Goes to School will reach over 1,100 Eagle County students this school year and has exposed over 11,000 students to this unique American art form since its inception.

Jazz Goes to School offers an interactive musical learning experience that enhances the basic school curriculum. The program is provided free of charge, thanks to the support of each school’s PTO/PTA and program sponsors including Alpine Bank, Vail Resorts Echo, Vilar Community Performance Fund, Colorado Mountain Express (Official Transportation Provider), Eagle County RE-50J School District, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, United Way of Eagle River Valley, Vail Valley Foundation, Vilar Performing Arts Center, and other corporate sponsors.

Eagle County 4th and 5th Graders Swing with Jazz Goes to School

January 5, 2012 – Vail, Colorado – Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s jazz education program for 4 th and 5th graders, returns to Eagle County schools January 9-12. The program features a quintet of professional musician/educators who travel to all 16 local elementary schools to share their love of jazz and American history, and inspire young people to embrace jazz: America’s own art form.

This second session of the four part program examines the foundation of jazz music; the rhythm section. “We want to introduce the kids to the heart of jazz; the cool combination of drums, piano and bass forms the core of all jazz music”, said program director Tony Gulizia. “Now we add in the saxophone and percussion to create a clean cool sound they love.” continued Gulizia.

The children have the opportunity to not only hear the quintet play, but also to participate by playing special melodic and percussion instruments. Later in the Jazz Goes to School curriculum, the older students try their hand at creating jazz music. The final concert includes blues compositions created by the fifth graders, performed in medley at the final concert.

Gulizia is not the only one who appreciates how Jazz Goes to School makes a difference for local kids. Vail Resorts Echo, the company’s philanthropy program, has identified Jazz Goes to School as a necessary and valuable way to help bring the arts back into our schools. Parents of 4th and 5th graders are encouraged to attend their children’s program next week to share their enthusiasm for what they learn.

“Vail Resorts supports Jazz Goes to School as an incredibly important program that teaches the wonders of Jazz to the children of Eagle County,” said Nicky DeFord, Manager of Charitable Giving for Vail Resorts Echo.Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the Jazz Goes to School program for the Vail Jazz Foundation. Gulizia is joined by his brother Joey, who is also a professional jazz musician and educator, on drums. Other musician/educators performing this week include Andy Hall (bass), Roger Neumann (saxophone), and Michael Pujado (percussion).


About Jazz Goes To School

Jazz Goes to School, which is in its 15th year, supports and promotes the jazz art form with a focus on educating young musicians and young audiences – fulfilling the mission of the Vail Jazz Foundation.

Jazz Goes to School is presented by the Vail Jazz Foundation (VJF) to Eagle County 4 th and 5 th graders, including all public schools plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, The Vail Academy, Stone Creek Elementary School and St. Clare of Assisi. Jazz Goes to School reaches over 1,100 students each year, and has exposed over 11,000 school students to a course about this uniquely American art form. The public is welcome to attend a session at one of the schools, please contact the Vail Jazz Foundation at 970-479-6146 to arrange a visit.

Jazz Goes to School offers a unique interactive learning experience that enhances the basic school curriculum and is provided free of charge, thanks to each school’s PTO and program sponsors, including Alpine Bank, Vail Resorts Echo, Vilar Center Community Performance Fund, Colorado Mountain Express (Official Transportation Provider), Eagle County RE-50J School District, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, United Way of Eagle River Valley, and other corporate sponsors and individual donors.

Vail Jazz Workshop alumni named prestigious 2009 Brubeck Fellow

June 24, 2009 — You may be familiar with the work of the Vail Jazz Foundation; perhaps you’ve enjoyed a Vail Jazz Festival concert, your kids may have told you about Jazz Goes to School, or you may have even heard of the Vail Jazz Workshop. But the Vail Jazz Foundation’s endless pursuit of supporting the jazz art form extends far beyond Eagle County, as do its results.

The Brubeck Institute, one of the most acclaimed jazz studies programs worldwide, recently announced The Brubeck Fellows for this coming year. Being named a Brubeck Fellow is one of the most coveted honors possible for a high school jazz musician.

Prestigious indeed, since the Brubeck Fellows become members of the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet, five recently graduated jazz musicians who have been selected to study jazz at University
of the Pacific for two years.

The Brubeck Fellows perform together at over 25 concerts each year around the U.S., which affords them a unique opportunity to gain performance experience while continuing their formal education.

And Downbeat magazine, which many consider to be the “Bible” of
jazz, recently named the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet as the finest college jazz group in the nation.

So what is the big deal? Well, for 2009, the Brubeck Fellows have been named, and each and every one of them is an alumnus of the Vail Jazz Workshop, an educational program of the Vail Jazz Foundation.

The Brubeck Fellows for 2009 are: Noah Kellman, piano, Zach Brown, bass, Corey Fonville, drums, Nick Frenay, trumpet and Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, saxophone.

“We are absolutely thrilled that five of our Workshop alumni have been recognized with this tremendous honor,” said Howard Stone, chairman of the Vail Jazz Foundation. “It’s a testament to each of them, and to the dedication and skill of our educators, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for their years of service supporting these young jazz artists.”

For the past 14 years, the Vail Jazz Foundation has produced a 10-day-long intensive jazz workshop in Vail that has helped shape some of the most promising young jazz artists of today.

The program graduates a dozen students each year, each of whom has been chosen from hundreds of highly gifted high school aged jazz musicians in North America. Grammy award winning bassist, composer and educator John Clayton leads the workshop, and he is joined by four other professional musician/educators, John’s brother Jeff Clayton (saxophone), Bill Cunliffe (piano), Terell Stafford (trumpet) and Lewis Nash (drums).

“The entire staff is consistently blown away at the quality and talent of these young musicians,” said Clayton, who also serves as Director of Education for the Vail Jazz Foundation. “It’s a true privilege to teach these kids and watch as they go on to achieve great success in later years.”

Mia Vlaar, executive director of the Vail Jazz Foundation, said the 2009 workshop students will be announced in a matter of days.

“Once they’ve completed the workshop, we refer to them as the VJF All-Stars, in recognition of their accomplishment,” said Vlaar.

On Sept. 3 in Vail Square, 2009 VJF All Stars will take the stage with the Clayton Brothers Quintet and will perform as part of the Vail Jazz Festival.

“Last year the audience was mesmerized by the talent of these kids, and we expect the 2009 group will wow them as well,” said Vlaar.

The concert is free and takes place at 6 p.m. in a tented venue just outside the Arrabelle Hotel in the Lionshead area of Vail.