Education and the Community
The Telluride Jazz Celebration and its programs represent Music Education of the highest order! World class jazz musicians bring their talent, skills, and knowledge to our community to share on the Town Park Main Stage, the Raynier Free Stage, Jazz at Night Venues, the Wilkinson Public Library, and the Telluride School District and regional schools. Jazz, as America’s unique art form, is at the heart of our programming and we are always looking for new ways to reach and grow our audience whether for ticketed or free performances. While the Western Slope of Colorado’s likely music audience might be considered to be Country or Bluegrass, theTelluride Society for Jazz (TSJ) has made a name for Jazz as we celebrate our 35th Anniversary this year continuing our mission to both entertain and educate all whoparticipate.
Telluride Jazz thanks our Contributors and Sponsors as well as the Raynier Institute and Foundation; No Wasted Notes; the Telluride Foundation; the Telluride Council for Community Assistance, Arts and Special Events (CCAASE); Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association; Colorado Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Just for Kids Foundation for their continued support of the following programs:
TSJ’s signature Educational Scholarship Program is the Telluride Student All-Star Jazz Ensemble. Serious Jazz students from age 13 through 18 are invited to send audition recordings of their musical skills to our educators, Prof. Bob Montgomery and Josh Quinlan. Jazz instructors accept eight elite musicians to travel to Telluride the week preceding the festival and they work and study together. The All-Stars perform around town the week leading up to the main event and they are rewarded with an opening performance on the Town Park Main Stage where TSJ has hosted such Jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Betty Carter, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, James Moody, Herbie Mann, Stanley Turrentine, Diana Krall, Ron Carter, the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Larry Coryell, Pat Metheny, Dave Liebman, Esperanza Spalding, Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard, Dave Holland, Kurt Elling, Charlie Hunter, Spyro Gyra, Les McCann, and the list goes on and on! The All Star Scholarship Program is supported by individual contributions, grants, and the sponsorship of Dworbell, Inc. MORE DETAILS & AUDITION INFO
Telluride Jazz Camp
TSJ is partnering with the Telluride Academy to once again offer the Telluride Jazz Camp for kids ages 9 through 12. This will be a two week camp offered to interested kids who live or are traveling to the area prior to the Jazz Festival. Jazz Camp students will work with a Jazz specialist on their music skills and also with Telluride Academy camp directors who will incorporate outdoor activities and camping into the program. Jazz Camp kids will study, play and finally perform on the Jazz Stage. They will get to see how a major music event is produced with backstage chaperoned access as they watch performers and technicians get ready to play the Main Stage! Jazz thanks Elaine Demas and Luke Brown from the Telluride Academy for their time and energy and Paul Major from the Telluride Foundation for “planting the seed”!
Artists in the Schools
TSJ’s Artists in the Schools programs offer informal music education to area youth. Visiting musicians in town for the WinterJazz programs give their time, talent, and energy to this program by performing and interacting with area students. Jazz contacts schools throughout the region and invites all interested students to join in the performance at the Michael D. Palm Theater. It is followed by an open question and answer session where students get to ask the performers the details of their craft. Jazz collaborates closely with the Telluride School District and the new Music Director Tuck Gillette who generously support this program. TSJ also receives grant funding from the Just for Kids Foundation who supports our youth programs.
Artists in the Library
Artists in the Library takes place on the patio at the Wilkinson Library and is now in its 13th year. These two programs focus on young people, library patrons, and the general public offering free music as part of the Jazz Celebration. One of these programs reaches out to the Hispanic community with Latino artists and the other is an interactive, educational performance in which families are invited to join in with the music. Last summer Jazz took the Friday performance to the local Farmers Market where the Wilkinson Library hosts the summer kids program for some lively banda music with “Anexo al Norte” from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Telluride Jazz works closely with the Five-Star Wilkinson Public Library to produce these programs. Library Director Barb Brattin, Scott Doser, Elizabeth Tracy, Sierra Reese, and the entire library staff work with Jazz staff to make the programs fun and educational. The Just for Kids Foundation supports these programs locally.
Free Jazz Project
The Free Jazz Project, now in its 7th year, produces five music programs and an annual soccer tournament in conjunction with the Telluride Jazz Celebration. At its heart is sharing the music with the entire community, with a special invitation to our growing Latino and foreign guest community. There are free programs at the Raynier Free Stage in Elks Park, the Wilkinson Public Library, and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Spanish services as well as a Soccer Tournament in the Hanley Pavilion in Town Park. There is a lively Fiesta in Elks Park on the Sunday of the Jazz Festival with music, a piñata for the kids, dancing, food and fun. These programs began with support from the Colorado Council on the Arts through the National Endowment for the Arts and matching funds were provided locally. Telluride Jazz collaborates with One Telluride’s Don Mitchell and Emo Overall to make the Fiesta in Elks Park and the Soccer Tournament successes and to continue this worthwhile community outreach.
Raynier Free Stage
The Raynier Free Stage in Elks Park offers an alternative to those who want to participate in the Jazz Celebration without stretching their pocketbook. Last year there were 16 free performances on the Raynier Free Stage as well as Sunday’s Elks Park Panel Discussion and Free Jazz Project Fiesta. The panel discussion invites Jazz artists and media to tackle issues that are current in the jazz music world and answer questions from the audience. Last year’s discussion was hosted by Mark Ruffin from XM Radio and the panel consisted of Guest of Honor Toshiko Akiyoshi, Jackie Ryan, Larry Coryell, Raul Midón, Dmitri Matheny and Norman Provisor from the Denver Post. Telluride Jazz also works with the Climb to Conquer Cancer to assist with their fundraiser by providing our production assistance along with free music to highlight their Saturday program.
Regional and National Student Performances
High School and College Bands and Ensembles are invited to participate in the Jazz Celebration. This program offers students travel subsidies, food, lodging, and general and backstage admission to the Town Park so they may have the opportunity to interact with jazz legends and experience the production side of the event.
Last year Telluride Jazz welcomed the Crescent Super Band from American Fork, Utah which was awarded DownBeat Magazine’s Best High School Band award. The award-winning Crescent Super Band has frequently been hailed as one of the best professional bands in the world to be comprised entirely of young musicians. The band has been featured at many of the world's most prominent music festivals including venues in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, and France. The band also has a strong national presence with recent performances in Chicago, Boston, New York, Telluride (Colorado), and Park City (Utah).
Telluride Jazz also hosted the Chico State Jazz Xpress from CSU’s Jazz Studies Program. The Jazz X-Press represents the flagship ensemble within the Chico State University jazz program. Repertoire ranges from standard big band to the cutting edge and compositions from students in the ensemble. The X-Press regularly hosts world class guest artists for clinics and performances. Telluride Jazz also hosted two interns from Chico State for six weeks before and after the event. They earned credit and Jazz got some great student assistants.
Our 35th Anniversary student performers will be announced in the coming weeks!