Local elementary school kids swing with Jazz Goes to School | VailDaily.com

Local elementary school kids swing with Jazz Goes to School

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado – Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s jazz education program for 4th and 5th graders, returns to Eagle County schools this week. The program features a quintet of professional musician/educators who travel to 14 local schools to share their love of jazz and American history, and inspire young people to embrace jazz: America’s own art form.

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. “Now we add in the saxophone and trumpet to create a clean cool sound they really dig.”

The children have the opportunity to not only hear the quintet play, but also to participate by playing special melodic and percussion instruments. Later, the older students will use what they’ve learned to try their hand at creating jazz music. The final concert includes blues compositions created by the fifth graders following the third classroom session, performed in medley at the final concert.

Gulizia is not the only one who appreciates how Jazz Goes to School makes a difference for local kids. Vail Resorts Echo, the company’s philanthropy program, has identified Jazz Goes to School as a necessary and valuable way to help bring the arts back into our schools.

“This is such a unique and special program,” said the foundation’s executive director, Mia Vlaar. “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 Jazz Goes to School musician. Most kids would never be exposed to jazz, much less understand its development and relevance to American history, without this program.”

Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), 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 Kirk Garrison (trumpet).

Jazz Goes to School, which is in its 13th year, supports and promotes the jazz art form with a focus on educating young musicians and young audiences – fulfilling the mission of the Vail Jazz Foundation.

Jazz Goes to School is presented by the Vail Jazz Foundation (VJF) to Eagle County fourth and fifth 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 than 1,000 students each year, and has exposed over 10,000 school students to a course about this uniquely American art form. The public is welcome to attend a session at one of the schools, contact the Vail Jazz Foundation at 970-479-6146 to arrange a visit.

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