Eagle County students swing with the Jazz Goes to School program | VailDaily.com

Eagle County students swing with the Jazz Goes to School program

Jazz Goes to School Sextet performs for 4th and 5th graders at Gypsum Elementary School in January 2013.

EAGLE COUNTY — Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s jazz education program for fourth and fifth graders, returns to Eagle County schools Jan. 13-16. The program features a quintet of professional musician and educators who travel to 15 local elementary schools to share their love of jazz and American history, and inspire young people to embrace jazz, America’s own art form.

While September’s session focused on the origins of jazz and the rhythm section with handmade drums, this second session of the four-part program adds in the horn section.

“We want to introduce the kids to the heart of jazz; the cool combination of drums, piano and bass forms the core of all jazz music,” said Tony Gulizia, program director. “Now we add in the saxophone and trumpet to create a clean cool sound they love.”

Later in the Jazz Goes to School curriculum, the older students try their hand at writing their own jazz music. The final concert includes blues compositions created by the fifth graders, performed in medley at the final concert.

Gulizia is not the only one who appreciates how Jazz Goes to School makes a difference for local kids. Vail Resorts Echo, the company’s philanthropy program, has identified Jazz Goes to School as a valuable way to bring the arts into our schools, and Alpine Bank’s grant to the program provides funds to bring the accomplished jazz instructors into all elementary schools in the region.

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Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the Jazz Goes to School program for the Vail Jazz Foundation. Gulizia is joined by his brother Joey, who is also a professional jazz musician and educator, on drums. Other musician/educators performing this week include Andy Hall (bass), Roger Neumann (saxophone) and Mike Gurciullo (trumpet).

About Jazz Goes To School

Jazz Goes to School, which is in its 16th year, supports and promotes the jazz art form with a focus on educating young musicians and young audiences — fulfilling the mission of the Vail Jazz Foundation.

Jazz Goes to School is presented by the Vail Jazz Foundation to Eagle County fourth and fifth graders, including all public schools plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Christian Academy, Stone Creek Elementary Schools and St. Clare of Assisi. Jazz Goes to School reaches more than 1,100 students each year and has exposed more than 15,000 school students to the course.

Elements of Jazz Goes to School will be presented in a summer program entitled Jammin’ Jazz Kids at the Vail Farmers’ Market as part of Vail Jazz’s weekly free Jazz @ The Market series in July. The Vail Jazz Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Visit http://www.vailjazz.org for more information.

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