Where there's an upright bass and a velvet-throated vocalist performing in a public place more attuned to a ski town cover band, Vail Jazz most likely has something to do with it. Along with educational programming seeking to school the next generation of Satchmos (or introduce hipsters to the hepcat), the local Jazz Foundation runs six signature music lineups throughout the summer, including the freebie Jazz at the Market (a rotating roster of local and visiting musicians who perform under the Solaris Jazz Tent at the village’s Sunday Farmers Market from noon to 3 p.m.) and a Wednesday-night supper club (Vail Jazz Club Series, July 11–Aug 8, 5:30 & 7:30 p.m., $40) on Ludwig’s Terrace at the Sonnenalp, that make Vail Village in the summer seem cooler than Greenwich Village during the 1950s. “Summer is festival season all over the world,” says Vail Jazz Foundation chairman Howard Stone. “If you were to look at some of the artists who are playing Vail Jazz this year, they’re also playing at big venues like the Newport Jazz Festival—you don’t put Vail in that same category, but we have it.”
"Jazz started in America, and now it has an extraordinary presence all over the world–we have Cuban musicians, Spanish musicians, performers from Japan, Australia, and France, all these musicians that are international touring artists will be in Vail over the summer, and each person brings a new approach to the music. That's the exciting part! It's such an international art form."– Vail Jazz Foundation Chairman Howard Stone
For the jazz purist ...
Plan your summer around the Vail Jazz Party, where an end-of-season bash featuring John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Wycliffe Gordon, Terell Stafford, Lewis Nash, Bill Cunliffe—among others—brings down the house (Aug 30–Sept 3, $55–$75 for individual sessions, $375 for a Performance Pass, and $450 for a Patron Pass).
For the jazz fan on a budget ...
Colorado powerhouse Hazel Miller leads the lineup serenading Edwards locals every Friday at 5 p.m. on the banks of the Eagle at the Riverwalk Backyard Amphitheater.
If you want to crash a local jazz scene ...
Tony “Tony G” Gulizia has been a fixture on the valley’s music scene since moving to the area in the ’90s, and he’s been fostering the next generation of jazz virtuosos via Vail Jazz’s Vail Jazz Goes to School program for the last 20 years. You can catch him and Brian Loftus, often backed by teenage talent from our local high school jazz band, Sundays at 8 p.m. at the Remedy Bar at the Four Seasons (fourseasons.com/vail).
When it is:
July 1–Sept 3
Where it is:
What it costs:
Who goes there:
An older crowd looking for a bit of Birdland in paradise