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Jazz Goes to School

When Jazz Goes to School wraps up its fifteenth year in Eagle County with three special jazz performances at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on May 6 & 7 featuring the Jazz Goes to School Sextet, members of the public are invited to attend.   “This is such a rich and exciting performance that we want to open it up to the whole community,” said Robin Litt, executive director of the Vail Jazz Foundation.  Tickets are available to the public for the three performances at $15/adults and $5/children.  Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Vilar Center Community Performance Fund.  Performances take place at 9:30 am and 1:00pm on Monday, May 6th and at 9:30 am on Tuesday, May 7th.  Ticket can be purchased at www.vilarpac.org or by calling 970-845-TIXS (8497).

The fourth and final session of the Jazz Goes to School educational program, entitled “A Tribute to the Giants of 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 Jazz Goes to School program. “The concert includes legendary jazz tunes by Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and others”, said Gulizia.  “We also perform a medley of blues compositions authored by the fifth graders as part of the concert – their lyrics are priceless!” said Gulizia.

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

Jazz Goes to School is presented by the Vail Jazz Foundation (VJF), a 501 c3 charitable foundation dedicated to the perpetuation of jazz through performances and education, with a focus on young musicians and young audiences.  The program educates over 1,100 fourth and fifth graders annually in the Eagle County School District RE-50J, plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, The Vail Academy, Stone Creek Charter School, St. Clare of Assisi, and Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy.  Jazz Goes to School has exposed over 15,000 school students to jazz music since inception.

New in 2013, elements of Jazz Goes to School will be offered to local and visiting youngsters in three free interactive sessions called “Jammin’ Jazz Kids” on July 7, July 28 and August 18th in conjunction with Jazz @ The Market on the Solaris green.  “We can’t wait to bring parts of Jazz Goes to School’s successful and engaging programming to the community in a new environment,” said Litt, “Kids will have  hands-on educational and entertaining opportunities to learn the fundamentals of jazz.”  Youngsters, ages 6-12, will play a variety of percussion instruments – maracas, bongos, congas, tambourines, xylophones and Orff instruments in the programs, which will take place at 11am on each of the respective Sundays.  Participating children will also listen to and join with jazz musicians in playing music and learning the art of improvisation.

Jazz Goes to School is sponsored in part by Alpine Bank, Vilar PAC Community Use Fund, Colorado Mountain Express (Official Transportation Provider), Eagle County RE-50J School District elementary school PTOs, PTOs of the private and charter schools, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, United Way Eagle River Valley, Vail Resorts Echo, Vilar Performing Arts Center, AmericInn, Antlers at Vail, Local Joe’s Pizza, and numerous private donors.

Ticket to Jazz Goes to School Sextet on May 6 and 7 can be purchased at www.vilarpac.org or by calling 970-845-TIXS (8497).