Jazz Goes to School returns to Eagle County February 27 – March 1

By Vail Jazz

February 20, 2012 – Vail, Colorado – Jazz Goes to School, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s music education program for 4 th and 5th graders, returns to Eagle County schools starting February 27. This third session brings a trio of professional musician/educators into 14 local schools to share their love of jazz and American History, and to inspire young people to embrace America’s own art form, whether as spectator or musician.

The program is lead by musician/educator Tony Gulizia. “When the kids get to use their own hands to play an instrument as they do in this session, the beauty of the music really comes alive for them. They understand how it works and why improvisation is at the heart of all jazz music,” said Gulizia.

In this session, a trio of jazz musicians introduces the blues scale and other techniques used in improvisation. Students are taught the notes of the blues scale and musical concepts like dissonance. With this foundation, the older students then get a chance to try their hand at creating their own jazz by writing 12 bar blues compositions, lyrics put to a blues beat. At the final concert on April 30 and May 1 at the Vilar Performing Arts Centere a selection of the students’ blues compositions will be presented in medley to the delight of young composers, scattered in the audience. The surprise on their faces when they realize they just heard their lyrics is unforgettable.

“Most kids would never be exposed to jazz, much less understand its development and relevance to American history, without this program”, said Dawn Vallejos, music teacher at Eagle Valley Elementary School, which participates in the program. The program provides music teachers with a comprehensive curriculum, pre and post lesson plans and follow up activities, all of which complement the sessions with the musicians in the classroom.


About Jazz Goes to School

Jazz Goes to School, now in its fourteenth 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. Tony Gulizia (keyboard and vocals), directs the program for the Vail Jazz Foundation. The rhythm section for session three is completed by Gulizia’s brother Joey on drums, and Andy Hall on bass.

Jazz Goes to School is presented by the Vail Jazz Foundation (VJF) to Eagle County 4 th and 5 th 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 will reach over 1,100 Eagle County students this school year and has exposed over 11,000 students to this unique American art form since its inception.

Jazz Goes to School offers an interactive musical learning experience that enhances the basic school curriculum. The program is provided free of charge, thanks to the support of each school’s PTO/PTA and program sponsors including Alpine Bank, Vail Resorts Echo, Vilar Community Performance Fund, Colorado Mountain Express (Official Transportation Provider), Eagle County RE-50J School District, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, United Way of Eagle River Valley, Vail Valley Foundation, Vilar Performing Arts Center, and other corporate sponsors.