Meet the Team
Amanda was born and raised in Ventura, California where she lived until she felt a calling to move to Colorado. She lived in Denver while building her professional career in business development and multi-family real estate. After meeting her to-be husband, they married at Piney River Ranch, realizing that they would move to the mountains to start their family. After the arrival of her energetic daughter Penelope, Amanda’s need to make a difference burned deeper as she watched her daughter grow and develop. Amanda joined the Vail Jazz team in July of 2018, and has completely fallen in love with the music, culture, community, and youth development that Vail Jazz continues to drive. Amanda 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.
Interim Artistic Director, Director of Education
John Clayton joins the Vail Jazz team to bring quality musical entertainment to the 29th Annual Vail Jazz Festival and Vail Jazz Party, while continuing to lead the Vail Jazz Workshop. All planned programming will continue under John’s direction, while he helps guide Vail Jazz in securing a long-term permanent solution to this role.
John has directed the Workshop since its inception in 1996 and has been a major creative and educational force for the over 300 graduates. The Grammy winner and eight-time Grammy nominee is a devoted educator, and currently serves as president of the International Bassists Society, Artistic Director of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Sarasota Jazz Festival and Centrum Jazz Workshop, and teaches at USC’s Thornton School of Music.
Regional Artistic Director
Drew joins Vail Jazz to lead artistic direction for the Solaris and Club Series. Drew enjoys worldwide reputation as an award-winning writer, a passionate conductor, and fiery performer. He has composed and arranged pieces for the BBC Orchestra, the WDR and NDR Big Bands, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dallas and Memphis Symphony Orchestras, the Metropole Orkest, the Airmen of Note, the Julliard Jazz Orchestra, Wayne Bergeron, Carmen Bradford, Dick Oatts, Randy Brecker, Larry Braggs, Jazz Melbourne, and the Pyramid Jazz Orchestra in Kanazawa, Japan. Drew is currently also the artistic director of the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra (CJRO) and is on the faculty of the award-winning UNC jazz studies department teaching jazz composition.
Drew recently released “Reunion”, his premiere big band album, produced by John Clatyon, adding to an already impressive portfolio of albums.
Bethany comes to Vail Jazz with a deeply rooted joy of connecting with people from all walks of life. This drive has manifested in various ways throughout her life and career—first as an educator in Thailand and Taiwan, next in supporting community development in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, then to artisanal markets in DC. What began as a trip to Colorado in 2015 resulted in a more permanent home, where Bethany has been helping connect partners that support each other’s ambitions with local brands, non-profits, and community events. Guided by inclusive missions and environments, she is thrilled to join the Vail Jazz Community. Outside work, Bethany fills her cup with music exploration, thrifting, yoga, her dog Frankie, and meaningful conversations peppered with silliness.
Piet comes from a background of working production for large music festivals around the country. He has since stayed local and has regularly been 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 coming on as Operations Manager you can find him with his crew building out our venues and creating an amazing environment to experience jazz in the mountains. 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.
Donna grew up in a small farm town in Illinois. When she visited her sister in Eagle, Colorado as a young adult, she decided that the “mountains were calling” 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 excited and honored to be part of the Vail Jazz community, and 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 programs. Donna gained the skills that brought her to her current position through her previous role as Executive Assistant at Roundup River Ranch, another area non-profit. 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.
Marketing and Sponsorship Sales Coordinator
Anneliese comes to Vail Jazz with a degree in Communications and an extensive background in customer service, giving her the ideal set of experience to be the perfect fit in the Vail Jazz community. Anneliese has grown up in the Vail Valley and has a deep passion and knowledge of the town, the mountains, the businesses, and the people. She has traveled broadly, but always finds her way back home to Vail, where she loves to ski (and is a retired ski racer!). Next time you see Anneliese at a show, stop by and say hello, you’re guaranteed a good laugh!
Howard Stone, In Memoriam
Founder, Artistic Director
Howard Stone was the President and Artistic Director of Vail Jazz from its inception in 1994 until his passing in 2022.
A life-long jazz fan, Howard loved the music as much as he loved the Colorado lifestyle – the Vail Jazz Foundation sprung to life when he merged his two passions
Howard’s initial foray into what would become Vail Jazz began with the first Vail Jazz Party. His idea was to carry on a Colorado tradition of presenting great jazz in a unique ‘party’ format over Labor Day weekend. Following the success of the first Vail Jazz Party, Howard dreamed bigger and created the Vail Jazz Foundation, an organization dedicated to the perpetuation of jazz music with an emphasis on young musicians and young audiences.
Today, jazz lovers in Vail and beyond are the beneficiaries of Howard’s vision, which manifests itself in an annual summer-long festival, which spans nine weeks and entertains over 50,000 people; the Vail Jazz Workshop, which has contributed to the musicianship of over 300 outstanding young jazz musicians; a school program that has educated over 20,000 students in Eagle County elementary schools; as well as soirées, a winter series, and free community concerts.