Telluride Jazz Festival: Educational Initiatives, Starting 7/31

Telluride Jazz Festival: Educational Initiatives, Starting 7/31

Anticipating yet another great festival weekend in Telluride, the Telluride Jazz Festival 2.0 boasts a robust and diverse artist lineup thanks to the new management group, Steve Gumble’s SBG Productions, which also programs Telluride Blues & Brews and the Durango Blues Train. Specifically the lineup features Mavis Staples, Macy Gray, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Miles Mosley + The West Coast Get Down and other greats. For the full line-up, go here.

Unique Patron and VIP experiences passes are available to experience the weekend in luxury.  All passes are available for purchase online at

Also this year at Telluride Jazz, music education and outdoor adventure pair up for the ultimate youth summer camp, a mind-body fusion for young people, courtesy the 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Telluride Society For Jazz (TSJ). The initiative is the newest component of the Festival’s student education mission.

To learn more about the Telluride Jazz Adventure Academy, scroll down for further details and to listen to podcasts featuring Telluride Academy director Luke Brown and Caleb Chapman of Soundhouse.

Jazz is no different from English or Spanish. It is essentially a language used to communicate thoughts and ideas, but music in general and jazz in particular does a better job than the spoken word in communicating emotions.

What’s more, research shows that learning the do-re-mis helps a child excel in ways beyond the ABCs – while enhancing language skills too.

According to the Children’s Music Workshop, the effect of music education on language development can be seen in the brain.

“Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds,” the group claimed in an interview with PBSparents.

Learning music correlates with increased IQ and a brain that works harder, improving test scores and so much more.

Plus, making music is lots of fun.

New for 2017,Telluride Jazz Festival organizers partnered with Telluride Academy and Caleb Chapman’s Soundhouse to introduce a new, week-long music education and outdoor adventure academy for students to run from July 31 – August 4, 2017.

The goal of the Telluride Jazz Adventure Academy is to provide students with opportunities to learn new music skills, collaborate with peers, perform on stage during the Festival, and adventure outdoors at the height of summer season in the San Juan Mountains.

Students will spend mornings with world-renowned music educators in town with Caleb Chapman and his team. The curriculum will include  jazz improv, theory, and articulation, followed by a group ensemble rehearsal and then a look at music history.

The Academy program schedule includes morning instruction followed by unique, outdoor adventures including stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, and rock climbing with Telluride Academy guides in the afternoon.

The week concludes with a student performance on the Free Stage in Elks Park and attendance to the 41st Annual Telluride Jazz Festival. The course registration costs $630 per student. Participants must be ages 12+.

Again, registration includes course instruction, daily field trips, and a 3-Day Festival pass for the weekend.

For more information or to register for the Academy, go here and listen to podcasts featuring Luke Brown and Caleb Chapman, co-directors of the educational initiative.



More about Soundhouse:

Caleb Chapman. founder & director Soundhouse

Caleb Chapman’s Soundhouse is a contemporary music training program that develops critical life skills through performing, recording, touring, and mentoring by top tier musicians and educators.

Soundhouse believes that music is not the most important skill taught through the program. Participating musicians leave with a full toolbox of behaviors that all but guarantee their success in whatever career path they choose, including teamwork, self-confidence, leadership, self-discipline, time management, marketing, problem-solving, networking, entrepreneurship, creativity, and improvisation, among others.

Click here for articles about the benefits of a music education.

Click here for more about Caleb Chapman.

More about the Telluride Academy:

Luke Brown, director, Telluride Academy.

The mission of the Telluride Academy is to inspire children and teens through experiential education that promotes physical activity, creative learning, environmental stewardship, responsibility to others and positive life choices.

The history of Telluride Academy is as rich and vibrant as the100+ annual programs offered each year. The journey from its humble “backyard” beginning to a now solid foundation and respected reputation are the result of 36 years of dedication and passion.

It was the vision of founder Wendy Brooks and numerous other committed community members that has led to countless adventures and discoveries that take place in and around the many inspirational locations in the Telluride region.

Today the Telluride Academy is comprised of local, regional, and visiting families who return year after year.

Other jazzy learning experiences:

For a more formal jazz learning experience, applications are now open for the Festival’s flagship educational scholarship program, the Telluride Student All-Star Jazz Ensemble.

Through the program, an elite group of student musicians are selected through an audition process to travel to Telluride the week preceding the festival to immerse themselves in compositions and study music together with esteemed program directors Professors Bob Montgomery and Josh Quinlan.

As the festival weekend nears, the All-Stars group will perform at venues around Telluride and is then rewarded with the opening festival slot on the Telluride Town Park Main Stage.

The purpose of the All-Stars program is to inspire and guide young musicians who are poised to pursue their education in jazz and who are at the level to begin professional careers. Education, room and board is provided free-of-charge upon acceptance to the program. The only cost to the students is transportation to and from Telluride.

In recent years, many former Telluride Student All-Stars students have ascended to professional music careers and returned to the Town Park Main Stage. The Telluride Student All-Stars Jazz Ensemble Scholarship Program is supported by individual contributions, grants, and the generous Dworbell, Inc. sponsorship.

Returning to the 2017 Festival is the Free Stage at Elks Park.

Located in the heart of downtown Telluride, over Jazz weekend, the grassy outdoor amphitheater hosts a series of free artist workshops and performances by student bands.

Artist workshops give attendees and locals a chance to interact with festival artists while learning about jazz culture, history, and methods. Student band performances include an eclectic lineup of regional ensembles and tomorrow’s superstars. The Voodoo Orchestra, Telluride Student All-Star Jazz Ensemble, Stillwater All-Stars, Soul Research Foundation, Hooligans Brass Band, The Inevitables, and the Telluride Jazz Academy Band are all slated to perform.

To learn more about the student education mission of the Telluride Jazz Festival, visit

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