Jazz Goes to School Sextet perform concerts for local students, public | VailDaily.com

Jazz Goes to School Sextet perform concerts for local students, public

Daily staff report
Christin Fergus-Jean | Special to the Daily
Christin Fergus-Jean | Special to the Daily |

If you go …

What: Vail Jazz Goes to School Sextet.

When: 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, and 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 11; concerts last approximately one hour.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.

Cost: Tickets are available for all shows for $10 each through the Vilar Box Office (phone or walk-up only).

More information: Call 970-845-8497.

BEAVER CREEK — Vail Jazz Goes to School wraps up its 18th year in Eagle County with three special performances at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on Tuesday and Wednesday, featuring the Jazz Goes to School Sextet.

“This is such a rich and exciting performance, and it’s a fabulous end to the lessons that have taken place throughout the school year to every fourth- and fifth-grade class,” said Robin Litt, executive director of the Vail Jazz Foundation.

12-bar blues

The fourth and final session of the Vail Jazz Goes to School educational program, titled “Swingin’ Through a Century of American Jazz,” features a selection of tunes that have shaped the history of jazz in America. Local jazz musician and professional jazz educator Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals) directs the Vail Jazz Goes to School program.

“The concert includes legendary jazz tunes from the early days with Fats Waller and Dizzy Gillespie to the more recent with Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis and Grover Washington Jr.,” Gulizia said. “We also perform a medley of blues compositions authored by the fifth-graders as part of the concert — their lyrics are priceless.”

Tony Gulizia’s brother Joey, also a professional jazz musician and educator (drums), joins him on stage, as does Andy Hall (bass), Roger Neumann (woodwinds), Mike Gurciullo (trumpet) and Michael Pujado (congas and percussion). The sextet presents a dynamic, foot-stomping show that pulls together all of the concepts taught in the first three classroom sessions, as demonstrated in some of jazz’s finest works.

New this year, students were offered an incentive. During the course of the three classes of Vail Jazz Goes to School earlier in the school year, students were taught about the jazz chord progression known as the 12-bar blues. At each of the three concerts, a winning student (or group) will be announced for innovative lyrics and ability to follow the rhythm and rhyming pattern they were taught. Those winning students’ lyrics will be featured in the Vail Daily and will receive a gift from Sugar Bar in Edwards.

The nonprofit Vail Jazz Foundation presents Vail Jazz Goes to School. The foundation is dedicated to perpetuating jazz with a focus on young musicians and young audiences. The program educates more than 1,100 fourth- and fifth-graders annually in Eagle County schools. Vail Jazz Goes to School has exposed more than 18,000 local school children to jazz music since its inception.

Coming up

Building on the success of Vail Jazz Goes to School, Vail Jazz will offer a summer hands-on musical experience, called “Jammin’ Jazz Kids,” every Sunday in July. In conjunction with Vail Jazz @ The Market at the Vail Farmers’ Market, kids ages 4 to 12 will be able to explore the history of jazz along with a fun learning experience with children playing a variety of percussion instruments — maracas, bongos, congas, tambourines and Orff instruments.

Participating children will also listen to and join with jazz musicians in playing music and learning the art of improvisation. Sunday programs will be 45 minutes in length and offered free of charge.

Vail Jazz Festival commences with a free family event on June 24, Vail SummerFest, which kicks off the summer season in Vail with headliner Marcus Miller.

“The Festival will host over 60 free and ticketed concerts in different venues throughout Vail, featuring the world’s leading jazz performers,” Litt said. “And we will host over 200 artists who will share their passion for this original American art form with locals and visitors to Vail.

“Our renowned artists are chosen for their broad appeal to all ages and audiences and are highly regarded for their stage presence and entertainment value. … We hope students who got a taste of jazz through Vail Jazz Goes to School will join us this summer at the Vail Jazz Festival.”

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