Vail Valley school year gets jazzed up |

Vail Valley school year gets jazzed up

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/ Vail Daily File photoJazz Goes to School member Andy Hall, right, plays the bass while Joey Gulizia plays the drums and Roger Neumann waits to play his saxophone at Vail's at Red Sandstone Elementary School

VAIL, Colorado – Jazz Goes to School launches its 12th year in Colorado’s Vail Valley this week. Three professional musician/educators are visiting 13 local elementary schools to uncover and explore the roots of jazz with fourth and fifth graders.

Jazz Goes to School is an educational and entertaining look at the history of jazz. Students trace the influences of gospel, blues, ragtime, swing and other musical styles in the jazz sound. Students also discover that jazz is also a way of playing/singing music that grew out of Africa’s musical traditions.

The first session is entitled “What is this thing called Jazz?” and is led by Tony Gulizia (keyboard), who is joined by Joey Gulizia (drums), and Michael Pujado (congas and percussion).

“This is one of my favorite sessions, because we talk about the origins of jazz, where the music came from and the unique, tribal instruments that contributed to its development,” Gulizia said.

In the next three sessions, students are introduced to the development of jazz through the centuries and how it played into the history of the United States.

“What’s unique about Jazz Goes to School is not only the subject matter, but the interactive format where the students create the music – and the integration with social studies, which provides a more holistic view of America’s own art form,” said Mia Vlaar, executive director of the Vail Jazz Foundation, which presents the series.

The Vail Jazz Foundation is a charitable foundation dedicated to the perpetuation of jazz through performances and education, with a focus on young musicians and young audiences. The program educates more than 1,000 fourth and fifth graders annually in the public schools of Eagle County, plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Academy, Stone Creek Elementary School and St. Clare of Assisi. Jazz Goes to School has exposed more than 11,000 school students to jazz music since its inception.

For more information, visit or call Vlaar at 970-479-6146.

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