Four ladies, four jazz legends exhibit at Vail Library |

Four ladies, four jazz legends exhibit at Vail Library

Daily staff report
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL – In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month and Jazz Appreciation Day, which is today, the town of Vail Public Library is hosting a unique jazz tribute through April 15. The Vail Jazz Foundation has created the exhibit to honor four of America’s greatest female jazz vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Lena Horne.

The colorful stories of these fabled songbirds is told using vintage posters, memorabilia, CDs and books. Visitors will be treated to some of the most memorable songs from each artist while learning about their contributions to jazz, American history and the broader world of the arts.

“This is an exciting multimedia exploration of four jazz divas,” said town librarian Lori Ann Barnes. “In addition we get a look at the Vail Jazz Foundation and its annual festivals, which have helped define Vail summer since 1995.”

The exhibit includes a historical display of 16 Vail Jazz Festival posters. The Festival is warming up for its 17th anniversary season, featuring live jazz all summer long, and culminating with the Vail Jazz Party, taking place Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-5, 2011.

The festival has its roots in the dreams of Howard and Cathy Stone of Vail and Santa Monica, California, who founded the festival back in 1995. The Stones were recently recognized for their contributions to our community by the Vail Town Council and a copy of that proclamation in the exhibit will be of special interest to Vail jazz enthusiasts. The Vail Jazz Festival continues in 2011 and a preview of scheduled performers and special events is also available at the library exhibit.

“We have a perfect storm of jazz artists lined up for the Party,” said Stone, chairman and artistic director of the Vail Jazz Foundation. “We’ve already signed the latest and greatest musicians in Jazz today, playing everything from trumpet to vibraphone, plus we are bringing back audience favorites to make our 17th anniversary season better than ever.”

The unique Party format is designed so every musician plays virtually every day of the festival. Confirmed artists include accomplished soloists and highly sought-after ensembles, including a very special reunion: the Monty Alexander Trio will be reunited on the 35th anniversary of their classic 1976 recording at the Montreux Festival. The trio features Monty Alexander (piano), John Clayton (bass) and Jeff Hamilton (drums). Vocalist/pianist Dena DeRose and her Trio will be on hand to light up the Party, and Terell Stafford (trumpet) will play with his Quintet, including Tim Warfield (tenor sax), Bruce Barth (piano), Peter Washington (bass), and Dana Hall (drums).

Soloists include jazz pianist Shelly Berg and Hammond B-3 wizard Bobby Floyd. Guitarist Graham Dechter, Tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon and bassist Tom Kennedy will join the Party, while drummer/singer songwriter David Tull will also perform. Back by popular demand will be the multi-faceted instrumentalist/trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, drummer Ernie Adams, and trumpet player Byron Stripling. Stripling, who leads the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, will also present a multimedia salute to Louis Armstrong, while Grammy winning pianist/composer/arranger Bill Cunliffe will present a multimedia salute to the modern Jazz quartet.

Tickets for the Vail Jazz Festival start at just $45, and an all event pass including preferred seating at all shows and cocktails and dinner with artists is $350. Tickets, passes, or gift certificates to the Labor Day Jazz Party can be purchased through the Vail Jazz Foundation office at 970-479-6146, or 888-VAILJAM (824-5526). Online tickets will soon be available for purchase at

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