Jazz Goes to School returns to Eagle County | VailDaily.com

Jazz Goes to School returns to Eagle County

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Ed Kosmicki

VAIL, Colorado ” Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s free jazz education program for 4th and 5th graders, returns to Eagle County this week, featuring a quintet of professional musician/educators who travel to local schools to present an interactive lesson on jazz and American history.

Jazz Goes to School includes three in-school sessions and finishes with a concert at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. The program is in its 11th year of providing free jazz education in Eagle County Schools, and it is one example of how the Vail Jazz Foundation pursues its mission to perpetuate the jazz art form, with a focus on young musicians and young audiences.

This second session of the four part program examines the foundation of jazz music ” the rhythm 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 program director Tony Gulizia.

The children have the opportunity to not only hear the quintet play, but also to participate in playing special melodic and percussion instruments, and to try their hand at creating jazz music. The final concert includes a medley of blues compositions created by the 5th graders for the concert.

“This is such a unique and special program,” said Mia Vlaar, the foundation’s executive director. “We provide the music teachers with a comprehensive curriculum, including pre and post lesson plans, follow up activities, and of course the sessions in the classroom with our musicians. Most kids would never be exposed to jazz, much less understand its development and relevance to American history without this program.”

Gulizia, a local jazz musician and professional jazz educator, 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 Michael Gurciullo (trumpet).

Jazz Goes to School is presented by the Vail Jazz Foundation to Eagle County 4th and 5th graders, including all public schools plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, The Vail Academy, Stone Creek Elementary School and St. Clare of Assisi. Jazz Goes to School reaches more 1,000 students each year, and has exposed more 10,000 school students to jazz. Visit http://www.vailjazz.org for more information.

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