Jazz Goes to School performs at Vilar | VailDaily.com

Jazz Goes to School performs at Vilar

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

School has never been as fun as it will be on Monday and Tuesday when the final session of Jazz Goes to School takes to the stage. Jazz Goes to School wraps up its 14th year in Eagle County with three special jazz performances entitled “Swingin’ through a Century of American Jazz” at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, featuring the Jazz Goes to School sextet. As a way of giving back to the community, the Vail Jazz Foundation is inviting the public to attend the performances Monday at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

After three previous sessions in each of the 14 elementary schools, the fourth and final session of the Jazz Goes to School educational program features a selection of tunes that have shaped the history of jazz in America. Classic jazz melodies to be performed include “A Night in Tunisia,” the 1940s sensation by Dizzy Gillespie, “Oye Como Va” by Tito Puente from the 1970s and “Just the Two of Us,” the 1980s hit by Grover Washington, Jr. Local jazz musician and professional jazz educator, Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the Jazz Goes to School program.

“The concert includes legendary jazz tunes by the greats from each decade of American Jazz,” Gulizia said. “We also perform a medley of blues compositions authored by the fifth graders as part of the concert; their lyrics are just terrific.”

A noted group of jazz musicians join Gulizia as co-instructors of the program. Gulizia’s brother Joey, also a professional jazz musician and educator (drummer), Andy Hall (bass), Roger Neumann (saxophone), Mike Gurciullo (trumpet) and Michael Pujado (congas and percussion) will entertain more than 1,100 local elementary students. The sextet presents a dynamic, foot stompin’ show that pulls together all the concepts taught in the first three classroom sessions, as demonstrated in some of jazz’ finest works.

Parents of fourth- and fifth- graders are encouraged to attend their student’s concert session. Members of the public are also invited to attend any of the three concerts at no charge.

“We invite parents and members of the public to join us for one of these special concerts and to witness local youth enjoying the culmination event of Jazz Goes to School. We are incredibly lucky, here in Eagle County, to have Tony Gulizia and this sextet perform for us in the special setting of the Vilar Center,” said Robin Litt, executive director of the Vail Jazz Foundation.

Jazz Goes to School is presented by the Vail Jazz Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to the perpetuation of jazz through performances and education, with a focus on young musicians and young audiences. The program educates more than 1,100 fourth- and fifth- graders annually in the Eagle County School District RE-50J, plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Academy, Stone Creek Charter and St. Clare of Assisi. Jazz Goes to School has exposed more than 14,000 school students to jazz music since its inception. For additional information, go to http://www.vailjazz.org.

Support Local Journalism