September 28, 2009 – Vail, Colorado – Jazz Goes to School launches its twelfth year in Eagle County this week, when three professional musician/educators visit thirteen local elementary schools to uncover and explore the roots of jazz with 4th and 5th graders.
Jazz Goes to School is an educational and entertaining look at the history of jazz. Students trace the influences of gospel, blues, ragtime, swing and other musical styles in the jazz sound. Students also discover that jazz is also a way of playing/singing music that grew out of the musical traditions of Africa.
The first session is entitled “What is this thing called Jazz?”, and it’s lead by Tony Gulizia (keyboard), who is joined by Joey Gulizia (drums), and Michael Pujado (congas and percussion). “This is one of my favorite sessions, because we talk about the origins of jazz, where the music came from and the unique, tribal instruments that contributed to its development,” explained Tony Gulizia.
In the next three sessions, the students are introduced to the development of jazz through the centuries and how it played into the history of the United States. “What’s unique about Jazz Goes to School is not only the subject matter, but the interactive format where the students create the music – and the integration with social studies which provides a more holistic view of America’s own art form,” said Mia Vlaar, executive director of the Vail Jazz Foundation, which presents the series.
he 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 1,000 fourth and fifth graders annually in the public schools of Eagle County, plus the Eagle County Charter Academy, Vail Mountain School, Vail Academy, Stone Creek Elementary
School and St. Clare of Assisi. Jazz Goes to School has exposed over 11,000 school students to jazz music since inception.
Jazz Goes to School is sponsored in part by Alpine Bank, Vilar PAC Community Use Fund, City Market/The Kroger Foundation, 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, Vail Valley Foundation, United Way Eagle River Valley, Walmart Foundation, and numerous private donors.
For more information, visit www.vailjazz.org or call Mia Vlaar at 970.479.6146.