Vail Jazz Goes to School takes the basics of jazz education into every 4th and 5th grade classroom in Eagle County. With over 1,100 students participating from the 15 elementary schools, Vail Jazz is exposing a whole new group of youngsters to the origins and history of jazz as well as the elements of modern jazz bands.

Vail Jazz Goes to School is formatted as a sequential series of four 45-minute lessons that are presented during the course of the school year. The curriculum combines musical performances with elementary discussions of the origin and history of jazz, an art form steeped in American history, geography and diversity.

Each lesson plan is different and uses up to six educators/musicians to demonstrate various instruments and musical styles. By blending these subjects in a lesson plan, the educators link various social studies subjects that students are exposed to in their regular curriculum to the history of jazz in a unique and stimulating manner. The program wraps up with an authentic jazz concert with the Jazz Goes to School Sextet.

This school year the Vail Jazz Goes to School educators are doing what all jazz musicians do, they are improving and presenting the program virtually with a slightly altered curriculum in order to adjust for the online delivery, but the essence of the music and its rich history is being passed on to the next generation of players and listeners! 

Vail Jazz Goes is generously underwritten by Alpine Bank, with additional support provided by Jeff Clayton Educational Fund, Gretchen and Robert Ravenscroft, Kathy Cole and Trent Cole Scholarship Fund and Eagle County RE-50J School District and PTOs, as well as many other donors.


tony gulizia

Director of Education, Piano/Keyboards Instructor

Tony, a local jazz legend and a noted music educator, is the curriculum director of Vail Jazz Goes to School and leads the Vail Jazz Goes to School Sextet. Known the world over as “Tony G,” he has been playing jazz for decades, gigging locally and internationally, teaching in schools and hosting a radio program Jazz at Its Peak. Tony received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Nebraska in 1997 and has worked for the Nebraska Arts Council and Mid American Arts Alliance presenting ‘Artists in School’ residences.

mike marlier

Drums Instructor

Mike Marlier is in his 27th year as the Director of Drum Set Studies at the Lamont School of Music. He started playing drums at the age of five, and hasn’t stopped. A lifetime in music was established from the day he was born, as he was immersed in the jazz records his father played both at home and on the radio station where he worked.

ron bland

Bass Instructor

Ron Bland has been a professional musician for over forty years, playing virtually all styles of music in every setting from concert hall to theatre to the recording studio. In  2003, with the Denver Jazz Quartet, Ron performed as a featured headliner at the  Queenstown International Jazz Festival in New Zealand. Ron is on the music faculty at Colorado Christian University and has taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He also teaches private applied lessons on acoustic and electric bass, ensembles and a sight reading and improvisation class.

gabriel mervine

Trumpet Instructor

At a time in music where history and originality never seem to go hand in hand, Gabriel Mervine takes steps every time he picks up his trumpet to bring these two closer together. Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Gabriel began his professional playing career at the age of thirteen. With a musical upbringing, Gabriel has deeply rooted himself in the traditions of Jazz and Classical music while at the same time contributing to the modern music scene. Gabriel, currently residing in Denver, Colorado wishes to leave no stone unturned and no genre unexplored because in his mind, all music has the power to make the artist who he/she is.

bob rebholz

Woodwinds Instructor

Bob graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Fine
Arts Degree. He’s played and recorded with national artist’s Images,
Peter Kater, DKO. Bob was a performer on the GRAMMY nominated recording Jumpin’JazzKids-A Swinging jungle Tale (55th GRAMMY Awards 2012) along with Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws and DeeDee Bridgewater. He doubles on all Saxophones, Flutes and the EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument). He’s currently on the faculty of the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts (CCJA), working as a musical mentor for kids 6-12th grade.

Former Instructors

roger neumann – in memoriam

Saxophone Instructor

Roger is a native of Spencer, Iowa and resides in the Los Angeles, CA area. Since 1983, Roger has served as a clinician at Reggie Schive’s Jazz Camp. He not only performs on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, but also works as a composer and arranger, receiving the LA Jazz Society’s 2002 Composer/Arranger Award. In 2012, Roger also received the LA Jazz Society’s Jazz Educator Award. Roger recently returned from a European tour with the Gulizia Brothers.

joey gulizia – instructor emeritus

Drums Instructor

Joey is a professional musician who has been performing since childhood. By the age of 10, he was drumming regularly with his father Joe Gulizia Sr. and brother Tony. Along with performing and entertaining, Joey has been involved in music education for over 30 years. He has conducted hundreds of residencies, workshops and clinics for students of all ages. He has been inducted to the “Nebraska Music Hall of Fame” and has received the “Excellence in Education” award by the Governor of Nebraska. Joey’s traveled extensively, and music has taken him to many places internationally and throughout the US, including all 50 states.