You might hear more jazz than ever this summer if the Vail Jazz Foundation has anything to say about it. Last year, Jammin’ Jazz Kids, a summer spin-off of the Jazz Goes to School program, was an instant hit at the Vail Farmers’ Market. Such a hit, as a matter of fact, it will be offered every Sunday in July. If your little jazz player wants more, check out the additional program on Mondays.
“On Mondays, we are partnering with Vail Rec offering and offering an expanded version, more in-depth,” says Robin Litt, the Vail Jazz Foundation’s Executive Director.
She adds that the Monday classes are for kids ages 8 to 15 and will be 90 minutes in length and will be different each week, allowing kids to really get a feel for all aspects of jazz. While they will build on the Sunday classes, it’s not required to attend both.
“It gives kids a hands-on opportunity to really feel what making music is all about, they learn the basic underlying themes of jazz, rhythm and improvisation,” Litt says.
The kids will explore Latin instruments one week, a drum circle, maybe handmade instruments – the details are being finalized but you can bet it’ll be a hour-and-a-half class with a performance at Vail Square at the end.
The free Sunday program begins at 11 a.m. with registration at 10:45. “Kids get real hands-on with various instruments,” Litt explains. Monday programs will take place at the VRD’s Community Room in Lionshead and will start with registration at 10:15. And it’s easy listenin’ for the parents since the instruments are ‘orph’ instruments – no one can hit a bad note. Parents can drop the kids for the hour-and-a-half class, but will probably want to be back in time to hear the end-of-class performance.
Definitely not a flash in the pan, the Vail Jazz Foundation was founded almost two decades ago by Henry Stone with the Weekend Jazz Party in Vail. It grew from there and now offers a 12-week summer festival with 50,000 jazz enthusiasts, a workshop which has contributed to the jazz musicianship of nearly 200 outstanding jazz musician, a winter series of jazz concerts and a school program that has educated over 14,000 students in Eagle County through its Jazz Goes to School program.
The Vail Jazz Foundation’s mission is to perpetuate jazz music through live performances that showcase the artistry and talent of great jazz musicians, and through jazz education, with a focus on young musicians and young audiences.
The foundation does just that through Jazz Goes to School program, providing young musicians the chance to learn all about jazz. The organization has been inspiring fourth and fifth graders for 16 years now. Kids love it – they get to be immersed in the music with some local jazz greats. The group took the tenets of this successful and sought-after program and applied it to the free interactive program at the Farmers’ Market, Litt says.
Inspired? Grab your hat, find your rhythm and be ready to hear the sweet sounds of jazz.
Want to learn more? Check out www.vailjazz.org. Monday jam sessions will cost $20 for visitors with discount for Eagle County students. Registration will take place in advance and day-of, but space is limited to 30 students.