Arts and Culture
12:36 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

20 years of Vail Jazz - a year round effort

Fifty world class jazz artists and 12 of the best high school players in the nation make up the Vail Jazz Party, in its 20th year this Labor Day weekend.  But the party is only the culmination of a year round effort, says Robin Litt, executive director of the Vail Jazz Foundation.

Earlier this summer, Poncho Sanchez got people dancing at Vail Square.
Earlier this summer, Poncho Sanchez got people dancing at Vail Square.
Credit Charles Townsend Bessent

"We're a 12-week long festival, and I'm not sure there are many like that," said Litt, who's justifiably proud of the 45 performances they put together.  But wait - there's more.

"Our mission is to share jazz with the younger generation and build the audience for jazz."  In addition to the marquee Vail Jazz Workshop for 16 and 17 year old players leading up to the Party, local Vail artist and educator Tony Gulizia runs an interactive program for Vail Valley elementary school students.

The full schedule of Labor Day weekend events and year round programs is at www.VailJazz.org

Music on this feature by the Clayton Brothers, "Walking Bass," from the CD Brother to Brother.