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The Vail Jazz Party Brings in Big Name Performers Over Labor Day Weekend

VAIL, Colo. – May 23, 2023– The event that started it all – the 29th Annual Vail Jazz Party – is returning to Vail this Labor Day Weekend from Aug 31 – Sept. 4. This year’s Jazz Party boasts some of the biggest names in jazz playing together in different ensembles over the course of the five-day event.

Afternoon music sessions start at 12PM Friday – Monday and will be held under the Jazz Tent at Vail Square in Lionshead Village. Evening music sessions begin at 6PM Thursday – Sunday and will be at the Hythe Grand Ballroom. The ever-popular Late Night Jam Sessions are at 9:30PM at “Howard’s Hangout,” a pop-up club-style venue also located at the Hythe Grand Ballroom. Afternoon session tickets start at just $45; evening sessions and special performances are $75; admission to Howard’s Hangout is free. All-Access Patron Passes are also available for access into all music sessions of music for $495. Tickets and passes are available at

The Musicians

This year, the Vail Jazz Party is thrilled to present René Marie (vocals), Ken Peplowski (clarinet), Akiko Tsuruga (B3 organ), Romero Lubambo (guitar), Mike LeDonne (piano), Renee Rosnes (piano), Steve Nelson (vibraphone), Niki Haris (vocals), Jeff Hamiliton (drums), Byron Stripling (trumpet), Carl Allen (drums), Bobby Floyd (B3 organ), Dan Wilson (guitar), Mitch Forman (piano), Drew Zaremba (saxophone), and the Mile High Gospel Ensemble. In addition, Jazz Party favorites John Clayton (bass), Dick Oatts (alto saxophone), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone), Bill Cunliffe (piano), Terell Stafford (trumpet), and Lewis Nash (drums) will be returning to the stage.

The Vail Jazz Workshop

Each year, a dozen of North America’s most dedicated, gifted, and promising young jazz musicians is chosen from a broad field of talented applicants to participate in the 10-day Vail Jazz Workshop . The students are currently being selected and the instructors are over the moon about the caliber of talent that has applied this year. Says John Clayton, Director of Education, “The selection process was the most competitive we’ve ever seen.  Audiences should be very excited at what they will hear from these young musicians.”

The Workshop students – aka the Vail Jazz All-Stars – perform three times throughout the Party, and admission into these sets of music are free. Many fans come to watch these budding musicians and continue to follow them throughout their careers.

Alumni Sextet

A popular tradition continues with the impressive sextet of Vail Jazz Workshop Alumni slated to   perform at the Vail Jazz Party. This showcase of Vail Jazz Family members lets audiences see how far these young musicians have progressed from teenage Workshop students to highly accomplished jazz pros. These musicians also serve as an inspiration to current Workshop students, who can see and hear what is possible when they remain dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in jazz.

This year’s Alumni Sextet includes Kenny Banks Jr. (piano), Benny Benack III (trumpet), Braxton Cook (alto saxophone), Tia Fuller (alto saxophone), Jimmy Macbride (drums), and David Wong (bass).

Special Performances

The ever-popular Niki Haris’ Gospel Prayer Meetin’ and Wycliffe Gordon’s Funk Revolution return this year, along with some new and exciting special performances. Returning for the second year will be The Vail Jazz Orchestra on Saturday evening, an impressive big-band ensemble directed by John Clayton. New this year will be a B3 organ duo performance from Akiko Tsuruga and Bobby Floyd. Legends Mike Ledonne and Steve Nelson will team up to pay tribute to Milt Jackson. And trumpeter Byron Stripling will perform a memorable and impactful multi-media performance. Tickets are on sale now to experience these special performances.

For more information about the Vail Jazz Foundation and Party, please visit or contact Jamie Cox, Marketing Director ([email protected]).


The Vail Jazz Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of jazz music through presentation and education. Vail Jazz produces a summer performance series and award-winning educational programs serving both the national and local communities.


Media contact: Jamie Cox


[email protected]