VAIL —It’s true that certain children have a natural gift for music, but others just need to get their hands on an instrument to unveil their hidden talent.
They get their chance this Sunday with the Vail Jazz Festival’s inaugural Jammin’ Jazz Kids. Welcoming all children 6 to 12 years old, Jammin’ Jazz Kids features local pianist Tony Gulizia instructing a free hands-on jazz class using a variety of Orff instruments: tambourines, bongos, congas, maracas and xylophones specially set up with the blues scale.
“It’s so important for children of this age to learn about the musical world and the importance of it,” says Gulizia, who has taught thousands of children’s musical classes throughout Vail Valley, including The Vail Jazz Foundation’s Jazz Goes to School program.
Children will discover the art of improvisation, the key focus of this first round of Jammin’ Jazz Kids. The series continues with a drum circle for children on July 28 and Latin percussion improvisation on Aug. 18.
“It’s a lot more rewarding and has a much higher educational aspect when the kids are getting to learn hands-on,” Gulizia says. “You take the knowledge and the ability with you when you learn how to do it yourself.”
Jammin’ Jazz Kids takes place at the Jazz Tent in front of Solaris at the Vail Farmers Market on Sunday. The class is free and open to children ages 6 to 12. Sign up from 10:45 to 11 a.m. The class is 45 minutes and precedes Jazz @ the Market, which features the Tony Gulizia Trio from noon to 3 p.m. For more information, visit www.vailjazz.org.