The Workshop is a residency program for twelve dedicated and gifted young jazz musicians who have demonstrated a commitment to their musical studies and a level of skill to warrant special attention. The level of talent of the students attending the Workshop is extremely high. Therefore only students who can play at the highest level will likely gain admission to the Workshop.

Students attending the Workshop must be at least 15 years of age and not more than 19 years of age (determined as of August 28, 2021) and must be a full time student enrolled in a high school (grades 9 through 12) or home schooled in compliance with appropriate local law during the school year completed just prior to the Workshop. Applicants who have just graduated from high school may apply but an Applicant may not have attended a university, college, junior college or other post high school educational institution on a full time basis, nor may an Applicant have attended a prior Workshop.

The Workshop is only open to students whose primary instruments are the following: piano, bass, drums, trumpet, saxophone and trombone. Unfortunately the Workshop does not admit students whose primary instrument is any other instrument.

Applicants are selected for the Workshop based upon their demonstrated commitment to their musical studies and a level of skill to warrant the special attention provided by the Workshop. The Workshop is designed for advanced players and an applicant should have a technical command of his/her instrument, good sight reading skills, improvisational skills and a willingness to work hard.

Applicants are selected for the Workshop based on the above criteria regardless of financial need. Vail Jazz provides financial assistance (up to a full scholarship) to a student, determined based upon the student’s household income, in order to assist him/her to attend the Workshop. In return, Vail Jazz expects each student to pay back his/her “debt” by giving back to his/her community. Any student nominated should have demonstrated a commitment to these ideals.

Due to the fact that the Workshop ends on Labor Day of each year, a student’s school may be in session at the time of the Workshop (this is especially problematic for students on their way to college) and therefore consideration must be given to whether the student will be given permission and/or is willing to be absent from school.


Due to COVID 19, The Vail Jazz Foundation is evaluating whether it will be able to organize and present the Vail Jazz Workshop in a safe and effective manner in 2021.  A determination will be made as soon possible and posted here, so please return often for updates.  If you are interested in applying to the Workshop this year and would like to be notified by email of our final determination, please send us an email at workshop@vailjazz.org and include your name, current grade level, instrument and email address and we will let you know as soon as a decision has been made. 

The application process consists of 1) a written application and 2) video audition. To be considered for admission an applicant must complete and submit all materials by the stated deadline, which will be established at the time a decision is made about this year’s Workshop.  Applicants will be given a reasonable amount of time to complete the application process, once a decision has been made.

Full and partial scholarships are available to applicants who are admitted to the Workshop.

Tentative dates for the Workshop are August 28 – Sept. 6, 2021

Applications for the 2021 Vail Jazz Workshop will be available in early 2021.


Early 2021 | Application process open

April  | Applications due

June | Final selections made

Aug 28 – Sep 6 | 2021 Vail Jazz Workshop