Jazz with an altitude
This summer marks the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Vail Jazz Festival and promises to be full of surprises with a little nostalgia thrown in. The Vail Jazz Festival offers a special kind of festival experience in one of the most spectacular settings anywhere in the United States. Featuring the Jazz @ the Market series of 16 free outdoor concerts and the renowned Labor Day Weekend Party, the Vail Jazz Festival is famous for its unique spirit of fun and fellowship that unites musicians, singers and jazz lovers from all over the world. The Festival offers many extraordinary performances throughout the summer and of course, the Festival will again host the Vail Jazz Workshop the acclaimed jazz education program for gifted high school students.
The Festival culminates with a unique assortment of world-class musicians in a one-of-a-kind format that lives up to its name, the “Labor Day Weekend Party.” Whether its group performances, multi-artist jam sessions or the inspiring Gospel Prayer Meetin, the weekend has a unique celebratory spirit that attracts jazz musicians and jazz lovers from around the world. Each year, emerging “young lions” play alongside living legends of jazz in an intimate setting surrounded by Vails natural beauty. With over 24 hours of performances throughout the weekend (morning, noon and night), the audience and musicians are connected in a way that never fails to inspire.
As part of the Festival, 12 dedicated and gifted high school age musicians receive scholarships to participate in an exceptional learning experience enabling them to study in an environment providing intense interaction with their instructors (two to three students per instructor), as well as with their fellow students. They also are provided with the invaluable opportunity of performing at the Festival. John Clayton, former Artistic Director of Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, noted jazz educator, bass virtuoso and co-leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Clayton Brothers Quartet is the Workshop Director. Joining him as instructors are Jeff Clayton, sax and woodwinds; Terell Stafford, trumpet; Bill Cunliffe, piano; and Lewis Nash, drums. We are deeply indebted to this all-star faculty for its extraordinary generosity that enables us to continue a tradition that has established the VJF Workshop as one of our nations leading jazz education programs.As part of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Festival, five former Workshop students, the VJF Alumni Band, will be featured at this years Labor Day Weekend Party. We are especially pleased to be able to reunite them with their former teachers and mentors, while showcasing the talents of these dedicated and highly accomplished young musicians, who so ably represent the next generation of professional jazz musicians. Vail Colorado