Press Release: The Vail Jazz Foundation elevates jazz education programs for kids of all ages: June 13, 2023

By Vail Jazz

The Vail Jazz Foundation elevates jazz education programs for kids of all ages

Announcements have been made regarding the Vail Jazz Workshop, the Tony G Rising Star Award, and the return of Jammin’ Jazz Kids to Eagle County libraries.

VAIL, Colo. – June 13, 2023– The Vail Jazz Foundation is pleased to announce advancements in all its educational programs, opening doors for children of all ages and musical abilities to progress in their studies.

The Vail Jazz Workshop

Each year, a dozen of North America’s most dedicated, gifted, and promising high school jazz musicians is chosen from a broad field of talented applicants to participate in the 10-day Vail Jazz Workshop. 2023 Workshop student selections have officially been made from a highly competitive pool of applicants. Says John Clayton, Director of Education, “The selection process was the most competitive we’ve ever seen.  Audiences should be very excited at what they will hear from these young musicians.”

Please join Vail Jazz in congratulating this year’s twelve Workshop students:

Elijah Paul Allen – Trumpet, Brooklyn NY

Miles Cole – Trombone, Webster Groves MO

Evan Dexter – Trombone, Chatsworth CA

Brandon Goldberg – Piano, Miami FL

Miriam Goroff-Behel – Saxophone, Wilmette IL

Læsio Littlejohn – Bass, Dallas TX

Beckett Miles – Drums, Jacksonville FL

Jose Andre Montano – Piano, Washington DC

Lucas Netto – Saxophone, Miami FL

Ethan Oliver – Drums, Garner NC

Preston Rupert – Trumpet, Oviedo FL

Rayah Thomas – Bass, Morrisville NC

The Workshop students – aka the Vail Jazz All-Stars – perform three times throughout the Jazz Party over Labor Day weekend, and admission into these sets of music are free. Many fans come to watch these budding musicians and continue to follow them throughout their careers.

The Tony G Rising Star Award

The Vail Jazz Foundation is also pleased to launch the Tony G Rising Star Award in honor of late Vail Jazz Goes to School co-founder Tony Gulizia. This merit-based award will provide the opportunity for talented Eagle County children to grow their musical interest with financial support towards purchase of an instrument, music lessons, classes, band camps or private instruction. The award has been made possible through the generous support of long-time Vail Jazz supporter Kathy Cole – a close friend of Tony’s — through the Kathy and Trent Cole Scholarship Fund and with ongoing support from Alpine Bank.  Vail Jazz will bestow 10 awards to Eagle County children, encouraging aspiring young musicians to follow their dreams and showcase their talent. Five teacher-nominated recipients of grades 4 – 5 will each receive a $500 instrument allowance. Five recipients in grades 6 – 8 will receive $1500 for instruction and to form a jazz band, and will be showcased at next year’s Vail Jazz Goes to School final concert as well as  the 2024  Vail Jazz Festival.

“It has been such a gratifying experience to create this program through Kathy Cole’s generosity, to build it, and to put the award in the hands of deserving children,” says Donna Arnold, Education and Event Manager at Vail Jazz. “To see the excitement from the kids who have been awarded already demonstrates the value of introducing this award to our community.”

Applications will be open later this summer for 6 – 8 graders, and the five teacher-nominated 4th and 5th graders have already received their awards. Please join Vail Jazz in congratulating the following Eagle County students in kick starting their musical journeys:

  • Guadalupe Alvarez Rodriguez – Eagle Valley Elementary; nominated by his 4th grade teacher Cynthia Reichardt.

  • Eli Stroker – Stone Creek Charter School; nominated by his 4th grade teacher Jenny Roussel.

  • Christopher Martinez – Avon Elementary School; nominated by his 5th grade teacher Savannah Shifrin.

  • Lyla Hulse – Edwards Elementary School; nominated by her 5th grade teacher Kayla Steinmetz.

  • Neymar Douglas – Edwards Elementary School; nominated by his 5th grade teacher Kayla Steinmetz.

Jammin’ Jazz Kids 

Vail Jazz brings back music education for younger children this summer through programming at the Eagle and Gypsum libraries. Jammin’ Jazz Kids offers an engaging and fun learning experience for youngsters through interactive, hands-on activities that teach the fundamentals of jazz and the art of improvisation. Children and their families are invited to a free, fun-filled 30-minute program exploring the fundamentals of jazz music, the 12-bar blues, and playing along with lively music educators. Ideal for children up to age eight, everyone is welcome. This free program will occur four times in the month of July at 3:15pm. Snacks will be served.

Monday, July 10 – Gypsum Public Library

Wednesday, July 12 – Eagle Public Library

Monday, July 24 – Gypsum Public Library

Wednesday, July 26 – Eagle Public Library

Learn more about Jammin’ Jazz Kids and sign up for one or more session at VailJazz.org/jammin-jazz-kids

For more information about the Vail Jazz Foundation and education programs, please visit VailJazz.org or contact Jamie Cox, Marketing Director (jamie@vailjazz.org).

The Vail Jazz Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of jazz music through presentation and education. Vail Jazz produces a summer performance series and award-winning educational programs serving both the national and local communities.