Jazz Goes to School hits schools for 16th year!

September 30, 2013 – Vail, Colorado – Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s jazz education program for Eagle County 4th and 5th graders, returns to schools the week of September 30th.

The innovative educational program features professional musician/educators who visit with 16 local schools to share their love and knowledge of jazz and American History, and inspire young people to embrace jazz: America’s own art form.

“After recently concluding our most successful summer jazz festival,” says Executive Director Robin Litt, “we are more excited than ever to bring jazz to local school kids. There’s nothing like Jazz Goes to School elsewhere in the country, and we are privileged to have such a talented teaching staff lead the program.”

Jazz Goes to School, now in its sixteenth 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.

This first session of the four part program traces the evolution of the music from its origins in Africa and the American south through to today’s jazz.

Local jazz musician and program director Tony Gulizia explains, “We look at the geographical movement of Senegalese, Yorbuba-Dahomean and Ashantis slaves to the United States. We examine their customs and culture with a particular emphasis on the musical traditions they brought to America.”

The history of great jazz giants, such as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy, Scott Joplin, King Oliver, Kid Ory, and how the migration of the black population brings the blues to New Orleans is also featured in this lesson.

Additionally, the history of many musical instruments is discussed, and students are encouraged to try their hand at playing special percussion instruments from West Africa. Students learn about African rhythms which found their way to New Orleans, where they began to blend with European church music.

Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the Jazz Goes to School program for the 16 th year for The Vail Jazz Foundation. For this first session, Gulizia is joined by his brother Joey, who is also a professional jazz musician and educator, on drums and Michael Pujado, on percussion.

Subsequent sessions include up to six jazz musicians as they share their various functions within the jazz band.

 

About Jazz Goes To School

Jazz Goes to School is presented by The Vail Jazz Foundation to Eagle County fourth and fifth graders, including all public schools plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Christian Academy, Stone Creek Charter School and St. Clare of Assisi.

Jazz Goes to School reaches over 1,100 students each year, and has exposed over 14,000 school students to a course about this uniquely American art form.

The final session in the spring is a true jazz concert performed by the Jazz Goes to School Sextet at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

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 supported with grants from: Alpine Bank, United Way Eagle River Valley and Vail Resorts Echo, along with festival sponsors: AT&T, Alpine Party Rentals, Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Mountain Express – Official Transportation Provider, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, The Jazz Cruise, KUVO 89.3 & KVJZ 88.5 Jazz Public Radio, Vail Daily, Vilar Center Community Fund, Woods and Son Pianos and Yamaha. In addition, individual donations support Jazz Goes to School.

Jazz Goes to School Sextet to Fill Vilar With Sounds of Jazz – Public is invited!

April 24, 2013 – Vail, Colorado – When Jazz Goes to School wraps up its fifteenth year in Eagle County with three special jazz performances at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on May 6 & 7 featuring the Jazz Goes to School Sextet, members of the public are invited to attend. “This is such a rich and exciting performance that we want to open it up to the whole community,” said Robin Litt, executive director of the Vail Jazz Foundation. Tickets are available to the public for the three performances at $15/adults and $5/children. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Vilar Center Community Performance Fund. Performances take place at 9:30 am and 1:00pm on Monday, May 6th and at 9:30 am on Tuesday, May 7th . Ticket can be purchased at www.vilarpac.org or by calling 970-845- TIXS (8497).

The fourth and final session of the Jazz Goes to School educational program, entitled “A Tribute to the Giants of Jazz”, features a selection of tunes that have shaped the history of jazz in America. Local jazz musician and professional jazz educator, Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the Jazz Goes to School program. “The concert includes legendary jazz tunes by Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and others”, said Gulizia. “We also perform a medley of blues compositions authored by the fifth graders as part of the concert – their lyrics are priceless!” said Gulizia.

Tony Gulizia’s brother Joey, also a professional jazz musician and educator (drummer), joins Tony on stage, as does Andy Hall (bass), Roger Neumann (saxophone), Mike Gurciullo (trumpet) and Michael Pujado (congas and percussion). The sextet presents a dynamic, foot stompin’ show that pulls together all the concepts taught in the first three classroom sessions, as demonstrated in some of Jazz’ finest works.

Jazz Goes to School is presented by the Vail Jazz Foundation (VJF), a 501 c3 charitable foundation dedicated to the perpetuation of jazz through performances and education, with a focus on young musicians and young audiences. The program educates over 1,100 fourth and fifth graders annually in the Eagle County School District RE-50J, plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, The Vail Academy, Stone Creek Charter School, St. Clare of Assisi, and Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy. Jazz Goes to School has exposed over 15,000 school students to jazz music since inception.

New in 2013, elements of Jazz Goes to School will be offered to local and visiting youngsters in three free interactive sessions called “Jammin’ Jazz Kids” on July 7, July 28 and August 18th in conjunction with Jazz @ The Market on the Solaris green. “We can’t wait to bring parts of Jazz Goes to School’s successful and engaging programming to the community in a new environment,” said Litt, “Kids will have hands-on educational and entertaining opportunities to learn the fundamentals of jazz.” Youngsters, ages 6-12, will play a variety of percussion instruments – maracas, bongos, congas, tambourines, xylophones and Orff instruments in the programs, which will take place at 11am on each of the respective Sundays. Participating children will also listen to and join with jazz musicians in playing music and learning the art of improvisation.

Jazz Goes to School is sponsored in part by Alpine Bank, Vilar PAC Community Use Fund, Colorado Mountain Express (Official Transportation Provider), Eagle County RE-50J School District elementary school PTOs, PTOs of the private and charter schools, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, United Way Eagle River Valley, Vail Resorts Echo, Vilar Performing Arts Center, AmericInn, Antlers at Vail, Local Joe’s Pizza, and numerous private donors.

Ticket to Jazz Goes to School Sextet on May 6 and 7 can be purchased at www.vilarpac.org or by calling 970-845-TIXS (8497).

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.