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.