Jazz Trio Monty Alexander, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton celebrates over forty years together at the Vail Jazz Festival

By Liz Turner

This Grammy ® winning jazz swinging trio of piano, bass and drums celebrates their 40+ years as a trio this summer at the Vail Jazz Festival! On Wednesday, July 6th , don’t miss Monty Alexander, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton light up the Mountain Plaza Lounge (near Gondola One) in this exciting monumental performance in Vail Village! On Thursday, July 7th, they’ll grace the stage at the Vail Jazz @ Vail Square performance in Lionshead.

 

These dynamos are no strangers to the Vail Jazz Festival, and will continue to bring their collaborations of swinging favorites, soulful hymns and marches, and moving ballads, that also bring in a touch of Jamaican flair, from Monty’s native roots. Monty’s numerous appearance are always sell-out events. John’s participation in the Festival started in the very first year, 1996, and he has continued as the Foundation’s Director of Education, while Jeff returns nearly annually as a huge fan favorite. Always a crowd pleaser, one can only leave these show feeling joyous, and exhilarated!

 

Playing since 1976, this trio has gelled together over four decades to create a comfortable, and light-hearted approach to their performances that all audiences can enjoy. Seeing how they create conversations through their music, is truly a unique experience! Having played leading festivals and venues around the world with memorable performances at Montreux, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, The Blue Note and Jazz at Lincoln Center these virtuosos are not afraid to dive into the rhythms, and melodies of American Jazz.

 

The trio sets the bar high in terms of Jazz standards, and continues to do so while each working on musical projects of their own. Tickets are now available at https://www.vailjazz.org/tickets/ for $40.

 

A perfect way to celebrate the start of summer!

Riverwalk comes alive with soulful nine-piece band The Burroughs

There is no better way to kick off the busiest weekend of the summer than with a big party featuring a sizzling, live soundtrack. Ushering in the holiday weekend, Riverwalk First Fridays return to the Riverwalk Backyard Amphitheatre in Edwards beginning at 5 p.m. July 1 with free live music and a vendor booth bonanza featuring Crazy Mountain beer, wine and tasty specialties from Taco Rico and Loaded Joe’s.

Music kicks off at 6 p.m. with Colorado-grown powerhouse The Burroughs. The nine-piece ensemble touts itself as “sweaty soul” and includes a four-piece horn section. The Burroughs follow the musical vein of Ottis Redding and Ray Charles and their thunderous performances include an energetic selection of crowd-pleasing favorites as well as danceable originals.

The June Riverwalk First Fridays concert featuring fellow Colorado favorite Hazel Miller drew the largest crowd in the history of the event – hundreds of dancers, picnickers and passers by ranging from families with young children, to couples, work groups and visitors of all ages.

Picnics are welcome at Riverwalk First Fridays but no pets are allowed and the event is non-smoking. Riverwalk First Fridays are presented by Alpine Bank and Kaiser Permanente. The event is a project of  KZYR 97.7 The Zephyr and Vail Jazz. For more information, call 1-800-VAIL-JAM or visit riverwalkfirstfridays.com. To check out the incredible 2016 lineup of Grammy winners and musical icons at the summer-long 22nd Annual Vail Jazz Festival, visit vailjazz.org.

 

ABOUT VAIL JAZZ

In 1995 life-long jazz fan Howard Stone launched the inaugural Labor Day Weekend Vail Jazz Party. A resounding success, the Weekend Party spawned the Vail Jazz Foundation, its mission to showcase the talent of prominent and up-and-coming jazz musicians as well as educate and nurture the genre’s next generation of greats. Vail Jazz has grown to include year-round programming such as Vail Jazz Goes to School and 12 weeks of live performances every summer with The 22nd Annual Vail Jazz Festival’s Vail Jazz @ Vail Square, Vail Jazz @ The Market, Jammin’ Jazz Kids and The Vail Jazz Workshop for a total of more than 60 live performances and educational programs.

Sunday Jazz Kicks off the Festival Season

Vail Jazz kicks off its solid summer of free live music programs this Sunday

For live music lovers, Sunday is about to become the best day of the week. Beginning this Sunday (June 26), the extravaganza of free jazz kicks off for the summer.

If you’ve strolled through the sea of stimulation that is the Vail Farmer’s Market, amid the colorful booths, cute dogs, long-lost friends and sweet aromas, your ears have probably perked up to the soundtrack of energetic live tunes.

Vail Jazz @ The Market

These Pied Piper-like melodies are emitted from the Jazz Tent at Solaris Plaza, home of Vail Jazz @ The Market. Beginning June 26, a rotation of popular, Colorado-grown artists perform for free from 12 to 3 p.m. A spicy six-piece ensemble of bass, percussion, horns, keyboards and vocals, Ritmo Jazz Latino kicks off the summer with infectious Latin rhythms while the peppy, Brazilian melodies of Ginga with percussionist ensemble Bateria Alegria light up the Market stage on July 3. The eclectic lineup continues throughout the summer with The Girshevich Trio, Dexter Payne Quintet, Joe Deninzon with The Mark Diamond Trio, The Hennessy 6, Kathy Morrow Quartet, BLT and Bob Rebholz, Katie Glassman and Snapshot and wrapping up with Chuck Lamb JazzFusion Quartet.

Vail Jazz @ The Market offers a refreshing respite from the sun and crowds, with dozens of seats available in the tent. Audience members come and go as they please and a sashay around the tent is always welcomed.

Jammin’ Jazz Kids

Your kids have a unique opportunity to uncover and unleash their musical talent for free on four Sundays in July as Vail Jazz once again offers Jammin’ Jazz Kids. An engaging, interactive workshop, Jammin’ Jazz Kids puts the instruments (congas, xylophones and more) directly into the hands of the kids and with a little professional instruction from experts Tony Gulizia and Brian Loftus, strike up surprisingly melodious harmonies within minutes. The free workshops are open to children between the ages of 4 and 12, with registration at 10:45 a.m. on July 3, 10, 17 and 24 at the Vail Jazz Tent at Solaris in Vail. Workshops are scheduled for 11 a.m. and last 45 minutes.

Colorado High School band showcase

Speaking of young talent, these teenagers have obviously already spent years refining their craft. Top musicians from high school jazz programs in Denver hit the Solaris stage for a free performance at 11 a.m. for four Sundays straight, from July 31 to Aug. 28. Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, directed by Paul Romaine, kicks off the inaugural showcase of high school band stars on July 31, followed by the Kent Denver Jazz Combo, directed by Stephen Hailey onAug. 7. Then comes East High School 6th Hour Jazz Combo Aug. 14 and Denver School of Arts, directed by Dave Hammond to wrap up the showcase on Aug. 21. Again, all performances are free and begin at 11 a.m. at the Vail Jazz Tent on the Solaris Plaza in Vail Village for four Sundays beginning July 31.

Vail Jazz @ The Remedy

If there is any question as to where to find the swankiest, most happening bar scene in Vail on Sunday nights, look no further than The Remedy Bar at the Four Seasons Resort. Local piano star Tony Gulizia and drummer Brian Loftus lead a rotating line up of visiting musicians in feel-good dining and drinking vibes. The Remedy delivers exactly what it promises, a reparative combination of classic and creative cocktails, dazzling wine list, scrumptious selection of culinary concoctions, expansive patio with stunning mountain views and the frolicsome sounds of live jazz every Sunday beginning at 8 p.m. July 3.

These free Sunday offerings are part of the 22nd Annual Vail Jazz Festival, which kicks off on June 24 with Vail Summerfest and wraps up 60-plus shows later with the Labor Day Weekend Vail Jazz Party. The Festival brings international touring artists to Vail for free and ticketed performances each week over a 12-week period.

For more information or questions please call Vail Jazz at 888-VAIL-JAM

Vail SummerFest launches this Friday

This Friday, Vail SummerFest launches Vail’s incredible summer season of music, diverse events and activities! This free celebration of summer features Grammy Award winner Marcus Miller, and an afternoon packed with interactive activities for the whole family. 

Favorite Vail Valley event providers will sell tickets and host raffles for GIVEAWAYS to a variety of exciting cultural events (including Vail Jazz, Bravo! Vail, and Vail International Dance Festival). The evening will come alive with the diverse array of music, arts and culture filling the beautiful summer night.

Electrifying bass player Marcus Miller comes to Vail June 24th to heat up Vail’s newest event, Vail SummerFest! Widely acclaimed as the “Renaissance Man”, this Grammy winning artist/composer/producer brings an array of contemporary sounds in Jazz, Pop/Rock/R&B, and Fusion to Vail SummerFest for a rare, free concert! (open to the public)

With over 19 solo albums in contrasting styles, Marcus Miller has also served as a musical producer for artists such as Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Chaka Kahn and Wayne Shorter. Known for his creative and modern approach in the jazz industry, Miller is not afraid to cross boundaries, and connect with vibrant cultures.

Marcus Miller brings enthusiastic energy and life to the electric bass, in an extremely attractive way that both young and older audiences can appreciate and feel connected to today. Miller’s eccentric take on jazz appeals to all generations, and not just to the active jazz listener, but for fresh ears as well. Marcus has always embraced the musical talents of youth in both his performances, and recordings and serves as mentor and inspiration to many up and comers in the

Aside from touring internationally, Marcus has composed several major motion pictures including About Last Night, Obsessed, Head of State, and the TV Show Everybody Hates Chris, just to name a few. His dedication in performance, composition and arranging has also led him to humanitarian work with UNESCO promoting peace through international collaboration and communication. His latest album Afrodeezia released in 2015, served as inspiration from his work with the organization and the Slave Route Project. The album captures musical styles and rhythms of African slaves that have migrated to the America’s and Caribbean.

Don’t miss this modern music innovator heat up Vail SummerFest in Vail for a one free performance only on June 24th at 6:30 pm! Activities get underway that day at 4pm with music by Tony Gulizia and second act by flute phenom Nelson Rangell. Families and attendees can enjoy food and drink and vendors including all summer arts organizations, including information about summer activities and events. Bouncy house and arts & crafts welcome children to the event.

For more info visit vailjazz.org/summerfest. Head to Vail at 4:00pm on Friday, June 24th for Vail SummerFest!

Ritmo Jazz Latino

By Liz Turner

Heating up the Vail Jazz Festival this June, is Denver’s finest Latin jazz ensemble-Ritmo Jazz Latino! On June 26th, at 12 pm, please join us for the first Vail Jazz @ The Market event – a weekly free series in the Jazz tent at Vail’s Farmer’s Market- for an exotic blend of Latin Jazz!

 

This talented group includes Grammy® winners, award-winning arrangers, popular Cuban and Puerto Rican percussionists, and Latin luminaries who have performed throughout the Americas with Dizzy Gillespie, Julio Iglesias, Gato Barbiere, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Charles, Henry Mancini and Ella Fitzgerald.

 

Featuring an entertaining collaboration between Dr. Walter Barr (trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, arranger), Fransisco Mejias (congas, bata, coro), Victor Mestas (keyboard, arranger), Paul McDaniel (bass), Cristine Barbosa (vocalist, piano, composer), and Howard Hernandez (timbalero, Latin percussionist).

 

Certainly not afraid to divulge into fascinating rhythms, and melodies of Latin America, this group truly brings an energetic, and groovy flair to the stage this summer! Check out this hot musical teaser: https://youtu.be/Z2XJhWvGHjo

 

Ritmo Jazz Latino has decades of experience put together, and performs traditional and contemporary Latin jazz. Often traveling through the country presenting engaging music education workshops and seminars on Latin music to youth. Their motto being “Salsa music is for everyone”, and they actively work to engage youth to truly embody the feeling, and spirit of Latin American music.

 

Today young students growing up particularly in the States, lack a strong exposure to this enriching style. Ritmo Jazz Latino demonstrates why this is so important in today’s arts and culture, exposing the youth to Latin jazz. Honoring the founding fathers of Latin jazz, they dive into the history of Afro-Cuban players, styles, and songs (salsa, merengue, songo, mambo, timba, bolero, charanaga and cha cha cha) and Brazilian jazz including (bossa nova and samba).

 

If musicians do not take the time to explore this style of music with audiences across the globe today, generations to come will miss out on this prominent style of music. You don’t have to be a perfect Spanish speaker, or a highly coordinated percussionist to enjoy Latin jazz, and Ritmo Jazz Latino shows that everyone in the world can take in and be a part of this art form! Whether through dancing, vocalizing, improvisation, or poetry.

 

Come hear how these influential Latin sounds and language come across today but be ready to groove, dance, jam and sing along to one of Colorado’s most remarkable ensembles today! Truly a summer delight!

 

Visit https://www.vailjazz.org/performances/vail-jazz-festival/vail-jazz-at-the-market/for more information, and to check out more of this group’s fabulous music, go to http://ritmojazzlatino.com

 

 

 

Inaugural Vail SummerFest launches with free music, food, and activities for all!

Summerfest-logo-block

 

Vail welcomes multi-Grammy winning bass player Marcus Miller

There is no age, language, or cultural barrier involved in Marcus Miller’s music. His message of joy is universal and abundantly clear.marcus “There’s no word barrier. There’s no language barrier. We play emotions,” Miller said in a recent interview with Jazz Echo. “They’re emotions that everybody feels, no matter where they’re from. So if we get that joyful thing going, it doesn’t matter if we’re in Japan, in Bulgaria, in Rio, in Louisiana, in the Caribbean … It’s like, they feel it. They feel it.”

It’s this enthusiastic energy that attracts audiences of all ages, and not just the active jazz listeners, but fresh ears as well. The multi-instrumentalist is most known for his sizzling electric bass and since launching his career in the 1970s playing in New York City clubs as a teenager, has recorded with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Jay Z. He was one of Miles Davis’ last collaborators and has won two Grammy awards (1992 Best R&B Song and 2001 Best Contemporary Jazz Album). The man has bass strings and a guitar named after him.

His latest studio album, Afrodeezia, was nominated for a Grammy—the album was inspired by his work with UNESCO focusing on the relationship between music and slavery around the world. The result is a record rich with upbeat drums, soulful keyboards, horns rising into a wall of sound and of course, Miller’s miraculous, blurred-finger bass lines. In live performances, the high energy slapping and funk naturally leads to a dance party, inspiring a wave of connection that begins on stage.

Marcus Miller brings his joy to Vail for the first time in a free, family-friendly outdoor performance at 6:30 p.m. near Gondola One in Vail Village as part of the first ever Vail SummerFest.

 

Vail SummerFest: activities and events expo

During the inaugural Vail SummerFest, Mountain Plaza will come alive all afternoon and evening with food and drink tents, plus an activities and event expo highlighting all that Vail has to offer for the summer, including children’s activities and fly-fishing demonstrations.

The events expo will feature many Vail favorites, including: 10th Mountain Division Hut Association, 10th Mountain Whiskey, Art in Public Places, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Bol, Bravo! Vail, Eagle River Youth Coalition, Entertainment Cruise Productions, Epic Discovery, First Notes, Gore Creek Fly Fisherman, KUVO/KVJZ, The Scarab, Ute Springs Experiential Learning, Vail Bluegrass, Vail en Español, Vail Fire Department, Vail International Dance Festival, Vail Jazz, Vail Recreation District, San Miguel de Allende, Vail Symposium, and Walking Mountains Science Center.

Bring blankets and lawn chairs for the free performances. For more information, visit vailjazz.org/summerfest or call 888-VAIL-JAM.

The event is co-sponsored by The Town of Vail and The Contemporary Jazz Cruise, the newest jazz cruise program from Entertainment Cruise Productions, the world leader in live entertainment at sea and producer of The Jazz Cruise and The Smooth Jazz Cruise.

 

 

 

 

 

Riverwalk First Fridays kicks off this weekend with soul queen Hazel Miller

No excuses are necessary to make a celebration out of Friday afternoon, especially as summer is finally getting underway. Like many other artistic communities across the country, Edwards is once again primed to make the first Friday of the month extra special throughout the summer. Jazz, R&B, and Blues soulstress Hazel Miller Kicks off “First Fridays” in Vail! Beginning the First Friday of June, July, August, and September come to the Riverwalk for an evening of fun and free music, with vendors including Crazy Mountain Beer and tasty specialties from Tacorico and Loaded Joe’s! A friendly, community gathering, Doors open at 5 pm, with music starting at 6 pm.

“I like big voices. I love singers that take risks. I love singers that can reach you with their emotion. Aretha Franklin, Sara Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Bonnie Raitt and many more have helped me find my voice.” -Hazel Miller

Hazel Miller has been reckoned as a “force of nature”, with powerful vocals as she presents a show designed to make the audience dance and sing along – music that excites and involves the listener! The Hazel Miller Band has toured widely throughout North America, as well as Europe, the Far East and Middle East and Central America. You can regularly hear Hazel Miller’s music on SiriusXM Radio stations “Real Jazz” and “B.B King Blue’s Station” among many local stations across the country.

Sustaining a 38 year music career in Kentucky where she opened for acts such as Mel Torme, James Brown, and The Temptations. Hazel Miller now resides in Colorado, and regularly performs with Big Head Todd and the Monsters and also as a regular performer on the E-Town Radio show, airing on NPR. Now a Colorado favorite for three decades, Miller was a featured artist at last year’s Vail-Beaver Creek World Alpine Ski Championships and is famous for, as she would say in her booming, contagious voice, getting the good times rollin’.

Ms. Miller has released four albums “Hazel Miller and the Caucasians (Live at the Fox), Coming to You Live From KUVO, I’m Still Looking, and Icons” available on CDBaby.com. Highly recommended if you like the sounds of Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, and Etta James.

Come on down to the Riverwalk First Fridays on June 3rd and catch the soul queen in action! More information at http://www.riverwalkfirstfridays.com

Picnics are welcome at Riverwalk First Fridays but no pets are allowed and the event is non-smoking. Riverwalk First Fridays is presented by Alpine Bank and Kaiser Permanente, and is a project of Vail Jazz and KZYR 97.7 The Zephyr. 

Vail Jazz in the news

22nd Annual Vail Jazz Festival

The 22nd Annual Vail Jazz Festival is two months away, and already making headlines!

“The Vail Jazz Festival has recruited numerous internationally known jazz legends for more than two decades, and this season, which kicks off in July, is slated to be its biggest season ever.” -Westword

Check out a special DownBeat article on Colorado Jazz Getaways, focusing on Vail Jazz along with Telluride and Aspen, as must-see jazz festivals in the High Rockies. Covering highlights of the Vail Jazz Festival, Vail Jazz Party, and the Vail Jazz Workshop, the article gives a tantalizing glimpse into what is in store for attendees this summer. Read the article here.

You can also catch more coverage of the Vail Jazz Festival in Denver-based magazine Westwordarticle here.

Vail Jazz Workshop Alumni

Vail Jazz Alumni have also been making waves in national news. A recent in-depth article features Keyon Harrold (’97) and his role as the trumpet player behind actor Don Cheadle in the new Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead. The article also covers his relationship with alum Robert Glasper (’97), who composed the music for the project. Read the article here.

Robert Glasper (the composer on Miles Ahead) was also at the New School around the same time, but Harrold and Glasper actually met at a the Vail Jazz Foundation summer camp [sic] in Vail, Colorado years prior.  Glasper was the one who initially got Harrold the audition.  Funny how things work out.

Also in the news, Terrace Martin (’97), the saxophonist behind rapper Kendrick Lamar’s multiple GRAMMY-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly is garnering attention for his own album Velvet Portraits (NYTime review) and is playing at some of the biggest jazz venues around – including an upcoming sold out performance at SFJazz.

 

Before you go!
If you haven’t already heard the news, alum Grace Kelly (’08) recently joined fellow alum Eddie Barbash (’05) to play with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on Late Nite with Stephen Colbert!

@jonbatiste and Stay Human getting the crowd warmed up. Any minute now! #LSSCLXXXVII

A photo posted by Late Show with Stephen Colbert (@colbertlateshow) on

Vail Jazz receives largest donation in its history from Starwood Hotels CEO

Rapidly expanding Vail Jazz receives largest donation in its history and is set to launch blockbuster festival yet again

When Howard Stone founded Vail Jazz 21 years ago, the organization was a one-weekend wonder. Welcoming well-known and respected jazz artists from across the country, the “Vail Jazz Party” over Labor Day weekend was regarded by hundreds of music fans as the grand finale of their summer. Over the past two decades the “Party” has been expanded into an annual summer-long festival and this year’s edition will feature over 60 performances at venues throughout the Vail Valley, including weekly shows at Vail Square, Vail Farmers Market, The Remedy and Vail Chophouse, with an estimated attendance of over 20,000. In addition, five years ago a Winter Jazz series was added that has grown dramatically in its short history. As the number of performances presented each year has expanded, so has the number of educational programs offered. Vail Jazz has a year-round educational outreach serving the youth of Eagle County – Vail Jazz Goes To School and Jammin’ Jazz Kids – as well as organizing the annual Vail Jazz Workshop for the past 20 years, which has welcomed 12 of the nation’s top teenage jazz musicians to learn from and then play alongside the established greats – their mentors – over Labor Day Weekend.

Vail Jazz has not only established itself as a cultural asset of our community, but has earned a reputation as an organization that is dedicated to preserving jazz through the presentation of the highest quality performances and educational programs in our nation.

From its inception in 1995 Vail Jazz has steadily grown each year with the addition of more performances and educational programs, but the organization’s growth spurt over the last four years is unprecedented.

“In the last four years, Vail Jazz has grown from 30 performances in the summer to 70 year-round,” says Vail Jazz Executive Director Robin Litt. “We have more than doubled our budget in the last two years alone.”

As a nonprofit, approximately 25 percent of the organization’s funding comes from ticket sales, but the highest percentage of Vail Jazz’s funding – over 50 percent – comes from individual donations. After a steady stream of generosity from both family foundations and individuals over the last two decades, Vail Jazz recently received its most generous donation to date, a $100,000 gift made by former Coca-Cola COO and Starwood Hotels CEO, Steven J. Heyer.

In August of 2014, Heyer was attending a Vail Jazz performance when he struck up a conversation with the individual sitting next to him, Vail Jazz’s Development Director, Owen Hutchinson. The two quickly determined that they shared a passion for jazz and Hutchinson invited Heyer to another Vail Jazz Festival performance that week. Heyer was taken aback by the extraordinary quality of the performances he had attended and wanted to learn more about Vail Jazz’s history and mission. Over the next 18 months as he learned about the breadth and quality of performances and music education opportunities that Vail Jazz offered throughout the year, Heyer decided he wanted to help Vail Jazz. The rest, as they say, is history.

“I firmly believe that Vail Jazz has the strategic positioning and the capability to be a remarkable organization on a much bigger stage. The fuel that makes that happen is having the financial flexibility to make wise investments. My gift is intended to give Vail Jazz the energy it needs to realize the potential that Howard and the staff has worked so hard to create over the past 22 years,” said Mr. Heyer.

The momentum behind Vail Jazz only continues to build. The recently released lineup for this summer’s Vail Jazz @ Vail Square will be more sizzling than ever, find free jazz every Sunday as Colorado artists perform at Vail Jazz @ the Market, and mark your calendars for July 11, when nationally renowned vocalist Nicole Henry pays tribute to The Great Ladies of Song in a one-of-a-kind-performance. Vail Jazz will produce performances every Sunday night at The Remedy and Thursdays After Parties at the Vail Chophouse following the Vail Square shows. Lastly, the summer will once again wrap up with a red-hot extravaganza – The Vail Jazz Party over Labor Day Weekend. Keep tabs on all the great things to come at vailjazz.org.

Stacked with Grammy winners, fixed and fresh faces, 22nd Annual Vail Jazz Festival is set to launch

Like the golden years of jazz, the Vail Jazz Festival has reached a glowing stage of its lifetime, but only continues to become bigger and brighter. The lineup for the upcoming 22nd season is stacked with returning favorites as well as internationally touted artists making their Vail debuts.

VAIL JAZZ @ VAIL SQUARE

Transforming Thursdays into the most anticipated day of the week, these 6:00 p.m. performances fill Lionshead with a vibrant buzz traveling well beyond its epicenter at the weatherproof jazz tent. The stage is alive this summer with an enclosed tent for great acoustics and the nine performances booked from the first week of July through the first week of September rattling with star power and followed by the all-new after parties at the Vail Chophouse featuring Kathy Morrow and Brent Gordon. Also new this year, Vail Jazz will offer a four-pack premium subscription for $125. On sale now, the subscription will only be available through July 7. Individual tickets are also on sale now – $20 for general admission and $40 for premium seating.

July 7 Monty Alexander, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton Celebrating 40 Years

Launching in explosive fashion, the Vail Square season opens with this trio of pianist, bassist and drummer, which has collectively etched a truly distinguished mark in the jazz world. Individually, each star has worked with everyone from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to Tony Bennett and Count Basie. Together, they have made history time and time again throughout their 40-year career.

July 14 John Pizzarelli

Also back by popular demand, the famed guitarist with his quartet returns to the Vail Square stage sprinkling a unique touch on Great American Songbook classics. Pizzarelli isn’t afraid to throw in lively renditions of rock tunes by the likes of the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and others.

July 21 Bria Skonberg

Last summer the young Canadian trumpeter blew the doors off during her Vail Jazz Festival debut (also at Newport Jazz and at Lincoln Center, where she won the 2015 Swing! Award). Her original works feature fresh, contagious vocals and harmonies with a touch of grit and a lot of spirit.

July 28 Michel Camilo

Described by Vail Jazz organizers as “a major coup” to land in the lineup, the GRAMMY® Award-winning pianist makes his Vail debut. The Dominican composer offers a Latin flare that has hypnotized audiences across the globe.

Aug 4 Joey Alexander

You may have seen this kid – arguably one of the world’s most talented youngsters (a mere 12 years old) – on 60 Minutes or earning a raucous standing ovation following his performance at this year’s GRAMMY® Awards. Born in Indonesia, the young pianist is self-taught and released his first album last year, nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.

Aug 11 Cecile McLorin Salvant

Fresh off a GRAMMY® win for her third studio album, this young, Miami-based vocalist appears in Vail for the first time. Last year she told NPR that she “never wanted to sound clean and pretty” and her husky style has earned her a pile of global acclaim, not to mention a slew of avid new fans following every performance.

Aug 18 Maraca & His Latin Jazz All-Stars

Led by GRAMMY®-nominated, Cuban-born flutist Orlando “Maraca” Valle, this energetic eight-piece ensemble features a collection of the world’s top Latin jazz specialists. Making its Vail debut, the ensemble is sure to get the crowd on its feet and moving.

Aug 25 H2 Big Band Tribute to Count Basie

Speaking of energy, the sizzling, Colorado-based big band returns to Vail to light up the stage with favorites from the late, great bandleader. H2 Big Band is famous for nailing Basie’s distinctive swing style.

Sept 1 Vail Jazz Party House Band, Alumni Quintet and All-Stars

The red hot triple bill kicks off the 22nd Annual Vail Jazz Party, beginning with the current lineup of freshly fine-tuned Vail Jazz Workshop students (Vail Jazz All-Stars) –the nation’s top 12 teenage jazz musicians. Then comes the Quintet of former All-Stars who are no pros and finally the Vail Jazz Party House Band sextet comprised of individual stars the genre – Jo John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Lewis Nash, Terell Stafford, Bill Cunliffe, and Wycliffe Gordon.

Vail Jazz Club Series

Want to get up close and intimate with some of the Vail Jazz performers? All of the July acts perform a preview show on Wednesday nights in an intimate club setting. Witness Monty Alexander, John Pizzarelli, Bria Skonberg and Michel Camilo in a magical, close nit atmosphere reminiscent of a small club in New York City or Chicago.

VAIL JAZZ PARTY

Sept. 1-5 The 22nd Annual Vail Jazz Party

Wrapping up the summer with a true grand finale of musical fireworks, this five-day blowout features more than 50 musicians rattling Vail with back-to-back outdoor and indoor performances. Highlights include riveting Multi-Media performances – Byron Stripling’s Birth of the Blues, Joel Frahm’s tribute to the Texas Tenors and John Clayton’s Tribute to Milt Hinton, following this year’s jazz documentary screening “Keeping Time: The Life, Music and Photographs of Milt Hinton”. The star-studded lineup of soloists includes the return of guitarist Diego Figueiredo and B3 organist Bobby Floyd as well as the debut of famed multi-instrumentalist Adrian Cunningham, not to mention the always sold-out Sunday morning feel good session – Niki Haris’ Gospel Prayer Meetin’.

SPECIAL EVENTS

July 11 The Great Ladies of Song

Last summer, internationally acclaimed vocalist Nicole Henry won the hearts of everyone in the sold out audience during her Vail Jazz debut and she returns for this one-of-a-kind gala performance highlighting favorite numbers by the genre’s legacy of iconic females – Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and more – accompanied by an exquisite, three-course dinner at the Lodge at Vail.

FREE JAZZ ALL SUMMER

Vail Jazz @ The Market

Get a taste of homegrown talent every Sunday when a variety of Colorado-based musicians and ensembles fire up a live soundtrack at the Vail Farmers Market from 12-3 p.m. from June 26 to Aug. 28.

Jammin’ Jazz Kids

Children between the ages of 8 and 12 have their chance to unearth their musical talents on a variety of instruments during these free, fun, hands on workshops at 11 a.m. at the jazz tent four Sundays in July.

Colorado High School Band Showcase

Every Sunday in August, Vail Jazz will debut a different Colorado-based jazz band from around the state in the Jazz Tent at 11 a.m. Come early to the Vail Farmers Market and witness rising local talent from around the state.

Vail Jazz @ The Remedy

Sunday nights never sounded so good. Local jazz legend, Tony Gulizia will be joined by an exciting variety of visiting jazz musicians each week at the event’s new home at the Four Seasons Resort. The series starts July 3 and runs through Aug. 28.

Riverwalk First Fridays

The Riverwalk Backyard in Edwards is the place to launch your weekend each of the first Fridays of the summer (June to September) with great free live jazz, food, drink and community vendors. A series geared toward the whole family, this is a perfect meeting place for community and culture. Performances start at 6 p.m. Vendors, food and drink booths open at 5 p.m.