A Starr plus a Giant equals one huge show | VailDaily.com

A Starr plus a Giant equals one huge show

Daily Staff Writer
Special to the Daily Carlos Washington is still getting downright funky on his trumpet.

The only female instrumentalist to have ever played with the George Clinton P-Funk dynasty, Starr Cullars visits Vail with horn favorite Carlos Washington and the Giant People Ensemble. They take the stage today at 10 p.m.

Cullars began with a classical route, starting with the cello. But when she was introduced to the electric bass guitar, there was no going back for the budding musician.

Her professional career started in her early 20s with an audition for Prince’s “Love Sexy” Tour. She crushed the audition and won the spot. Cullars turned it down, however, because her close friend and fellow musician, whom she came to the audition with, did not get hired for the tour.

Her sense of loyalty paid off when she returned to her native Philadelphia, where she was discovered by the P-Funk family. For six years she would be featured in P-Funk, both as a solo artist and also as an opener for the P-Funk All Star shows.

Since her P-Funk days, Cullars has made an exodus from the mothership, and has formed a solid and exciting power rock trio with 20-year P-Funk guitarist Lige Curry and Brazilian drumologist Sandro Feliciano. The result is the best thing to come out of the Clinton administration since Bootsy Collins.

The Starr Cullars band has been compared to Queen, Lenny Kravitz, Prince and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Carlos Washington

In the realm of dynamic audio experiences, Carlos Washington and the Amazing Giant People Ensemble combine exciting elements for the ears with explosive dance floor concepts – a good thing for a room with a bouncing floor.

Born in Harrisburg, Penn., Washington’s musical career began as a singer in the church choir. He discovered the trumpet and knew he’d found his calling.

At 18, Washington set out for the West Coast after enlisting in the United States Marine Corps Band, one of the oldest and most distinguished music organizations in the world. After four years, Sgt. Washington was honorably discharged and became a resident of San Diego. Word quickly spread in the creative community about the young trumpeter’s professionalism and vivid blue tone.

Washington made a name for himself playing with Karl Denson. After a two-year run with Denson, Washington ventured out on his own and created Giant People in the meantime. Giant People has always been about sharing the experience.

Now in 2004 after some time off and the birth of his son Maxwell – he already has a daughter – Washington sets his sights on his new funktastic Giant People lineup, a new album and an action-packed year of touring.

The current ensemble consists of Berklee School of music attendee, John Milham on drums. From Col. Bruce Hamptons’ Codetalkers is Sean Peterson on bass; blues veteran Corky Hughes on guitar completes the unique infectious sound. Washington and his team have developed a live show concept for 2004 called the sonic circus. Working with Starr Cullars from The P Funk All-Stars and a host of well established performers, they are on a mission to ignite the late night.

Support Local Journalism