Meet the Team
Founder, Artistic Directorhoward@vailjazz.org
Howard Stone is a life-long jazz fan. A retired real estate attorney and investor based in Santa Monica, California, the Stones have enjoyed a second home in Vail for over 30 years. Howard loves jazz as much as he loves the Colorado lifestyle – and the Vail Jazz Foundation sprung to life when he merged his two passions
In 1995, Stone was inspired to present the first Labor Day Weekend Vail Jazz Party. His vision was to carry on a 20-year Colorado tradition of presenting great jazz in the unique ‘party’ format. After the success of the first Vail Jazz Party, Howard dreamed bigger and decided to create Vail Jazz, an organization dedicated to the perpetuation of jazz music with an emphasis on young musicians and young audiences. Vail Jazz expanded to include the annual Jazz Workshop for promising high school musicians, a school program in Eagle County called Vail Jazz Goes to School, a free concert series, educational programs, and collaborations featuring performances and educational programs with other local nonprofits including Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, the Vail Symposium, and the Vail Valley Foundation.
Today, Vail and beyond are the beneficiaries of Stone’s vision, which manifests itself in an annual summer-long festival spanning 12 weeks and entertaining over 50,000 people; the Workshop, which has contributed to the jazz musicianship of nearly 300 outstanding jazz musicians; a school program that has educated over 20,000 students in Eagle County; as well as a Winter Series of jazz concerts and soirées.
Amanda was born and raised in Ventura, California where she lived until she felt a calling to move to Colorado. She lived in Denver for 7 years, building her professional career in business development and multi-family real estate. After meeting her to-be husband, they decided to get married at Piney River Ranch, realizing that they would move to the mountains to start their family. Amanda landed at the Vail Daily in 2016, and was enthused to be an active member of the mountain community. After the arrival of her energetic daughter Penelope, who is now four years old, Amanda developed an urge to give back and make a difference burned deeper as she watched her daughter grow and develop. Amanda joined the Vail Jazz team on July 1, 2018, and has completely fallen in love with the music, culture, community, and youth development that Vail Jazz continues to drive. Amanda recently welcomed her second child, son Miles in early 2021. Next time you head to a Vail Jazz event, make sure to stop her and introduce yourself, she is always eager to learn more about how the music moves you and how to work together to build a better future.
Donna was lucky enough to grow up in a small farm town in Illinois. When she visited her sister in Eagle, Colorado, she decided that the “mountains were calling” her and stayed after graduating college. Donna feels so fortunate to have met her husband Mark and raised their two children, Ethan and Addison, in Eagle. Donna is so excited and honored to be part of such an impactful and passionate organization. She is thrilled to be part of an organization giving back to the local community through the Vail Jazz Workshop, and Vail Jazz Goes to School program. Donna gained the skills that brought her to her current position at Vail Jazz by working as the Executive Assistant at Roundup River Ranch, a camp for seriously ill children. While there, she got her first non-profit experience and is excited to put her skills to use for Vail Jazz. Donna is inspired by people who are passionate about creating good in the world. She enjoys climbing the fourteeners (only three left) and riding both her road and mountain bikes. She loves traveling, spending time with family and friends, and meeting new people. She is eager to learn more about the Jazz community and music.
Jeff Wallace originally comes from Oregon but has called Los Angeles his home for the last 35 years. A jazz musician at heart, Jeff has also managed all musical aspects of major festivals, including the Playboy Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival and JVC Jazz Festival. Jeff has worked with numerous artists at venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall and UCLA’s Royce Hall, as well as many venues around the world. Jeff has spent the last year, due to COVID, working with SONOFANS in conjunction with Fox Sports. He even worked with Major League Baseball and was actually in the stadium for all of the 2020 American League playoff games. Jeff is looking forward to his Vail Jazz experience, bringing his love for the music to Vail, and finding time to enjoy the wonderful summer opportunities the Vail community offers.
Krista hails from Durango, Colorado and has been in the events industry for over 25 years. She began her career in Denver doing promotions in the radio industry before branching off as an Event Designer for a high-end catering company designing private affairs, fundraisers and galas. After 10 years in the city, she longed to be back in the mountains, and took up a stint as the Catering Director at Hotel Colorado before becoming Vice President of Special Events for the Glenwood Chamber Resort Association running high profile events. In 2007, Krista met her husband, started a family and started her own business, Valley Events Inc. Valley Events has coordinated the Garfield County Fair, Air Show, Advocate Safehouse Mother’s Day Mile and others. When the family relocated to Eagle County, she coordinated events such as Gypsum Daze and Colorado Mountain News Media events such as the Steamboat Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, WestCo Expo, Longevity Project, Playhouse Project and others. Working with the local community and live music have always been Krista’s passion. She is looking forward to this new chapter in her career with Vail Jazz.
Production Crew Chief
Piet comes from a background of working production for large music festivals around the country. He has since stayed local and is regularly involved in shows and events around the valley. Joining the Vail Jazz crew in 2015 he has been reeled in by the people involved in the organization and grown a deep appreciation for jazz and the endlessly talented artists that regularly join us. Now the Production Crew Chief you can find him running around our venues with his crew fine tuning details and making sure the show goes on. Outside of work, Piet is an avid golfer/snowboarder and some would say DIY enthusiast, running the gambit from custom mopeds to drones built from scratch. Piet is stoked to continue with Vail jazz and enjoy the live audiences once again.
Our Board of Directors
Our Advisory Board
Gary J.E. Thornton