The Vail Farmers Market and Restaurant Kelly Liken are respectively about to get a new summer flavor profile ... one best enjoyed by the ears. Although live jazz has long since been a part of the Vail Farmers Market and Art Festival, in recent years, thanks to the Vail Jazz Festival, the scene has grown to include a wide range of beloved local and regional musicians and feels like more of a true concert than simply a soundtrack.
“Where the jazz venue is now, there’s a nice covered seating area so people can purchase their goodies at the market and come sit down,” said local piano virtuoso Tony Gulizia, who is performing twice this summer at the market and plays Restaurant Kelly Liken with special guests every Sunday evening. “There are some people who come in and listen to a whole set, while others like to duck out of the sun for just a tune or two.”
This year the 19th annual Vail Jazz Festival is poised to bring in the biggest crowds yet with Jazz at The Market delivering an ever-changing lineup of artists to perform for free every Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. beginning this Sunday, smack in the middle of the market at a tent in front of Solaris in Vail Village.
“Every week at the Market is a different type of music,” said Vail Jazz Foundation director Robin Litt. “You’ve got the Latin, the drums, the classic American songbook … Jazz at The Market has really grown into its own cultural corner and you see more and more people coming closer to listen.”
One of Colorado’s most respected saxophonists, Laura Newman Trio kicks off the market season on Sunday, delivering soulful R&B and acid jazz. Putting a whole new face on blues and boogie woogie, Lionel Young Band takes over June 30, followed by Gulizia and his band on July 7. Kathy Morrow Trio’s high energy singing and key-slamming perform on July 14, followed by Salsa Con Jazz on July 21, Ginga Band on July 28, After Midnight on Aug. 4, Bob Cohen Trio with Chuck Lamb on Aug. 11, the Gulizia Brothers Quartet Aug. 18 and songbook guitar classics to wrap up the market season on Aug. 25 with Justin Allison Quartet.
Once the market tents are wrapped up for the day, Gulizia, drummer and special guest make their way to Restaurant Kelly Liken Sunday evenings from 8:30 to 11 p.m. to play a slightly softer set of jazz classics, originals and favorites. This Sunday marks the start of the 10-week run with Newman joining Gulizia and his drummer; on June 30 Gulizia is joined by Young on violin and saxophonist Wax Magner performs on July 7. There’s a different guest each week through Aug. 25.
“Sunday Harvest Dinner is my favorite night of the week. Tony has a great following and with the special guests and new menu each week, there is always something different,” Kelly Liken said. “People are drawn in on Sunday nights for the spontaneity of the menu and the music.”
In addition to the Sunday jazz extravaganza, the Vail Jazz Festival hosts large scale national and international artists from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays in Lionshead for Jazz at Vail Square, intimate evenings of ad hoc jam performances with members of the Dallas, Philadelphia and New York orchestras June 29, July 10 and 24 for Jazz After at Larkspur. Then, the Jazz Festival’s ultimate high note strikes Labor Day Weekend with four days of wall-to-wall performances in Vail. For more information, visit www.vailjazz.org or call 888-VAIL-JAM.