Sundays mean free jazz in Vail |

Sundays mean free jazz in Vail

Jazz @ the Market begins Sunday, June 28 and goes through the summer.
Special to the Weekly |

VAIL — It’s official. Summer has arrived, and as we soak it up every day of the week, it’s important to note that Sundays are especially superb in Vail, largely due to the swoony sounds of free live jazz music.

Vail Jazz @ The Market

As Vail Village takes on the energetic, festival-like ambiance that coincides with the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show, it wouldn’t be complete without a soundtrack — Vail Jazz @ The Market.

The cheerful strains of classic jazz from the Max Wagner Quartet emanate from Solaris Terrace from noon to 3 p.m. to kick off Vail Jazz @ The Market on Sunday. Then a rotating lineup of highly acclaimed national artists perform a variety of jazz genres — classic, Latin, R&B, even jazz with a twist — a little rock and country flavor — every Sunday through Aug. 30. Grab lunch, find a spot in the shady tent for some good people watching and feast your ears on the sounds of sweet jazz.

Vail Jazz AT Sweet Basil

Star local pianist Tony Gulizia has etched his unmatchable mark onto Sunday evenings in the past for Vail Jazz at Kelly Liken. Now, with the closing of Kelly Liken Restaurant, Vail Jazz along with the valley’s kingpin of the keys is relocating the Sunday night soirees to Sweet Basil.

“Bottom line, we’re thrilled,” said Sweet Basil co-owner Matt Morgan, whose relationship with Gulizia goes back 20 years, throughout the time when the pianist performed at Morgan’s former haunt, Zino’s, and proved his magic for drawing a crowd. “Tony is a pied piper. The nights Tony was there, people were just streaming through the door. At Sweet Basil for years we’ve tried to figure out how to have some great music, but we never had the right fit. We have all of that solved now. We’ve got a great spot for Tony in the dining room, and on nice nights he’ll play out to the patio with the doors open. What’s not to love about the whole thing?”

Each week, Gulizia is joined by Brian Loftus on drums. With a rotating musical guest every week, beginning Sunday with Max Wagner, Gulizia plays Vail Jazz at Sweet Basil from 9 to 11 p.m. every Sunday evening.

“Whether you’re diving into an amazing dinner or stopping in for dessert or a cocktail, there honestly isn’t a better way to wrap up the weekend,” said Vail Jazz Executive Director Robin Litt. “We can’t think of a more ideal partnership than these two local institutions — Vail Jazz and Sweet Basil.”

Jammin’ Jazz Kids

While many adults can attest to the hypnotizing quality of jazz music, children are also drawn to the sounds, and what better way to introduce them to how it all comes together than by putting instruments directly into their own little hands?

Throughout July, Vail Jazz welcomes children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old to try their talent on tambourines, bongos, maracas, xylophones and a variety of percussion instruments from 11 to 11:45 a.m. for Jammin’ Jazz Kids every Sunday in the Jazz Tent at the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show, beginning July 5.

“It’s always been a priority for Vail Jazz to pass the passion for music along to the future generation of musicians and listeners,” Litt said. “Jammin’ Jazz Kids offers an engaging and fun learning experience for all kids and possibly the first chapter of an amazing future for some young talents.”

Jammin’ Jazz Kids, Vail Jazz at The Market and Vail Jazz at Sweet Basil are free community programs presented as part of the 21st annual Vail Jazz Festival. For more information about the programs, or the festival, visit

Support Local Journalism