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February 8, 2009 — While Mardis Gras will still be officially two weeks away, the February 11 installment of the Bud Light Street Beat free concert series, presented by Volvo, is bound to create a Big Easy party in the streets of Vail Village nonetheless as The Rebirth Brass Band brings their own special brand of New Orleans street tradition to Checkpoint Charlie.
Formed in 1982 by tuba player Philip Frazier, his brother Keith and trumpeter Kermit Ruffiins, along with other musicians from the Alfred Lawless High School in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, the band was discovered at the 1982 Jazz Festival, recording their first album in 1984.
Rebirth is known for combining traditional New Orleans brass band music, including the Crescent City’s tradition of second line with funk, jazz, soul and hip hop influences. The New York Times has noted that “Rebirth can be precise whenever it wants to, but it’s more like a party than a machine, as mini-groups form and dissolve at any moment."
The band’s longstanding regular Tuesday night gig at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak Street in the Carrollton neighborhood of Uptown New Orleans is one of the pillars of the New Orleans music scene, and has served as a reliable introduction to the city’s nightlife for many a newly arrived college student.
While Ruffins left Rebirth in 1992, forming his own band, The Barbeque Swingers, the group celebrated its 25th anniversary release in 2008. The group has shared the stage with The Grateful Dead, the Meters, George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars, Maceo Parker, Dr. John, The Ohio Players, and a six week tour with Ani DiFranco.
All Bud Light Street Beat free concerts get under way at 6 p.m. at either Checkpoint Charlie in the heart of Vail Village or at the Arrabelle at Vail Square in Lionshead. Concert-goers are encouraged to dress appropriately for the outdoor performances, with food and beverages available for purchase at each show.
In addition to the free concert, Eagle, Lake and Summit County residents can register to win the season-long grand prize as Volvo Cars of North American will give away a 2009 Volvo C-30 to one lucky local at the final concert on April 15.
Out of town guests can also cash in as Volvo Cars of North America, the Vail Valley Foundation and the Town of Vail have teamed up to provide the Volvo Vail Grand Prize Guest Giveaway for a lucky non-resident, featuring a return vacation trip to Vail with deluxe accommodations. The Volvo Vail Grand Prize Guest Giveaway will also be awarded at the final free performance.
The Bud Light Street Beat free concert series will rock on this month with performances by Panjea on Feb. 25, while additional free shows are slated for March 11, 19 and 25, and April 1, 8 and 15.
The Bud Light Street Beat free concert series, presented by Volvo, is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on Bud Light Street Beat, visit www.streetbeatconcerts.com. For more information on the Foundation, contact (970) 949-1999 or visit www.vvf.org.
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