Howard Stone is a life-long jazz fan, a retired real estate attorney and investor based in Santa Monica California, who has had a second home in Vail Colorado for over 30 years. Stone loves jazz as much as he loves the Colorado lifestyle – and the Vail Jazz Foundation blossomed when he brought together these two passions. Stone had attended numerous “Jazz Parties” in Colorado through the years.
In 1995, he was inspired to put together the first Labor Day Weekend Vail Jazz Party in Vail. His vision was to do his part to carry on a 20 year Colorado tradition of presenting great jazz in the unique ‘party’ format over the Labor Day Weekend. After the success of the first Vail Jazz Party, Stone dreamed further and decided to create Vail Jazz as an organization dedicated to the perpetuation of jazz music with a specific emphasis on young musicians and young audiences. Vail Jazz grew to add a jazz Workshop for promising high school musicians, a school program in Eagle County called Vail Jazz Goes to School, free concert series, educational programs, and collaborations featuring all performances and educational programs with other non profits including Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, The Vail Symposium, and the Vail Valley Foundation.
Today, Vail and Colorado are the beneficiaries of Stone’s vision, which manifests itself in an annual summer festival spanning over 12 weeks and entertaining over 50,000 people, a Workshop which has contributed to the jazz musicianship of over 200 outstanding jazz musicians, a school program that has educated over 14,000 students in Eagle County and introduced in 2012, a Winter Series of jazz concerts and soirées.