2020 Vail Jazz Workshop
The Vail Jazz Workshop is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The winner of the coveted DownBeat Jazz Education Achievement Award, this unique program emphasizes small ensemble playing, improvisation and a focus on learning by ear, with no written music used. Each year, a dozen of North America’s most dedicated, gifted and promising young jazz musicians are chosen from a broad field of talented applicants, receiving scholarships to participate in the 10-day program. With a student/teacher ratio of 2 to 1, the Vail Jazz Workshop is designed for the most advanced high school jazz musicians. The all-star faculty is composed of John Clayton, Terell Stafford, Dick Oatts, Wycliffe Gordon, Bill Cunliffe and Lewis Nash.
Organized in conjunction with the Vail Jazz Party, the Workshop has mentored 298 high school-aged musicians over the past quarter-century. By anecdote, reputation, and word-of-mouth, from students and professionals alike, the 12 annual slots at the Vail Jazz Workshop are among the most coveted music scholarships for pre-college jazz musicians.
Alumni have garnered recognition at all levels of the music industry: from Downbeat Student Awards to Grammy’s, from Essentially Ellington’s Outstanding soloist Awards to Emmys. Alumni of the Workshop have contributed to over 100 Grammy nominated projects, headlined major festivals across the world, and regularly give masterclasses and lessons to the next generation of jazz musicians.
This year the Workshop is virtual with students and faculty working together via Zoom commencing in July and culminating with an intense week of instruction beginning on August 17, 2020. The instruction will include group lessons and masterclasses and a daily “rap” session during which the faculty will impart to the students invaluable information about their respective personal journeys becoming professional musicians. In addition, the “Vail Jazz All-Stars,” as the Workshop students have been known over the years, will create join together in virtual ensembles and record their performances, which will be shared with invited guests during a live-streaming of the Vail Jazz Workshop on Friday, August 21, 2020.
Below is the next generation of Vail Jazz Workshop students: