Telluride Jazz: 26th Annual Artists in the School Program

Telluride Jazz: 26th Annual Artists in the School Program

The Telluride Jazz Festival presents the 26th Artists In The Schools Program. Durango Funk Allstars to conduct master class, performance and Q&A in Telluride schools.


The Telluride Jazz Festival will present the 26th year of the annual Artists In The Schools student education program in the Telluride School District on Friday, April 1, 2016. In the spirit of tapping localized talent and educators to activate area youth, Western Slope natives the Durango Funk Allstars have been chosen to conduct a Master Class, performance, and Q&A session with the elementary, middle, and high school students at the Michael D. Palm Theater. 

The interactive format allows students to directly engage with the artists to discover the musicality and current player practices in jazz. All seven members of the Durango Funk Allstars are very experienced educators in their own right, in addition to being members of numerous bands that tour throughout the state of Colorado.

Bassist Evan Suiter held a staff position at Victor Wooten’s Center for Music and Nature, and served as a faculty member at Fort Lewis College and the Stillwater Foundation music program. Trumpeter Christopher Ross is a Fort Lewis College alumnus with a major in Music Performance, serves as a mentor for the Stillwater Foundation, and travels to Portland, OR to work with Grammy Award-winning trumpet master Thara Memory each year.

All seven members have strong roots in live performance styles centered around improvisation that is showcased in the Durango Funk Allstars band format. Their Master Class with the Telluride High School band will focus on classic songs by Telluride Jazz Festival veterans including “What Is Hip” by Tower of Power and “Cissy Strut” by The Meters. The students have spent weeks practicing these compositions in music class with Music Director Tuck Gillett. The Durango Funk Allstars members will focus on the student’s execution of the instrumental parts, and offer instruction about how to dig deep into their talent to step into the world of improvisation.

More About Artists In The Schools:

Telluride Jazz Festival’s Artists in the Schools program offers informal and interactive music education to area youth through the learning vehicle of music. Visiting musicians with an affinity for education provide knowledge, talent, and energy to the program by performing and interacting with students through Master Classes, performances, workshops and Q&A sessions. The Telluride Jazz Festival nonprofit student education organization the Telluride Society for Jazz collaborates closely with the Telluride School District and Music Director Tuck Gillette to produced the annual event each winter. Additional generous support comes from Lagunitas Brewing Company, Telluride Foundation, and CCAASE. Past artist participants include Esperanza Spalding, Kevin Mahogany, Joey DeFrancesco, Claudia Villela, Astral Project, Holly Hoffman, Son Como Son, Nosotros, and many other internationally renowned jazz musicians.

About The Telluride Jazz Festival:

Primarily taking place in the renowned 36-acre Telluride Town Park outdoor venue, outfitted for an unmatched live music and aesthetic experience, and moving after-hours into the historic theaters and intimate clubs downtown, the Telluride Jazz Festival combines a rich tradition of preserving the artistry of the American art form Jazz with a reputation for being America’s destination jazz event. Presented by nonprofit music education organization The Telluride Society for Jazz, 2016 will mark the 40th year of offering world class jazz, funk, soul, Latin, word beat, and brass bands, with a goal of community engagement and student education in the Western Slope region. The historical mining town of Telluride, Colorado sits nestled in a scenic box canyon at 8,750 feet, surrounded by 14,000 foot peaks, and is a prized gem of the majestic San Juan mountain range for offering both unmatched scenery and a musically-charged local culture.


Michael D. Palm Theater (Telluride, CO)

12:45 PM – Master Class with Telluride High School Band

2:15 PM – Live Performance & Q&A with All Telluride School District Students

Sherbino Theater (Ridgway, CO)

8:00 PM – Live Improv Performance

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