Beaver Creek Director’s Chair: And now for something completely different
Editor’s note: Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.Ozomotli closes out the Vilar Center summer concert series on Friday at 8 p.m. For those who are unfamiliar with the band (and I know there are a lot of you), Ozomatli is an urban-Latino, seven- to 10-piece (the number of musicians ranges based on the show) powerhouse band that pushes the boundaries past being able to label them as any one genre. They take cues from reggae, hip-hop, R&B and salsa. Their music has been described as having Latin, New Orleans and even Jamaican flair. While their set list is diverse and often unexpected, one thing that is always a constant is their live performance. They are fresh, they are dynamic, and they’ll have you up and out of your seats as they come into the crowd and join their fans. If you don’t want to get up and dance, this is not the show for you. But if you’re looking to try something different, then Friday night is your night. A departure from the rest of our summer lineup, it should be a great way to celebrate the end of summer and leave the audience wanting more. In the winter we embrace our role as the main game in town and present all forms of performance from classical music and dance to family programs and a wide variety of live music. But in the summer our goal is to complement, not compete, with all of the other opportunities available to our community and guests. To that end, we have focused on presenting big-name artists like Sheryl Crow, Alison Krauss, Ringo Starr and k.d. lang – artists you cannot see anywhere else in the valley. We booked moe. and Ozomotli this summer when we realized they would not be coming to the valley if we didn’t present them. We expect artists like this to perform at State Bridge or another outdoor festival in the summer, but sometimes it doesn’t work out because of scheduling, or the outdoor venues are not big enough to support the artist. While we know the Vilar Center has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, we have had great success presenting artists like Dark Star Orchestra, Leftover Salmon, Elephant Revival, Keller Williams and many others in the winter so we figured let’s try it in the summer rather than not have these bands play our community. We’ve heard from some of our audience members that they like the opportunity to see their favorite bands in our setting rather than at a club or an outdoor setting where they might have to brave the elements. n addition, many of our performers tell me how much they enjoy the opportunity to play the Vilar as it is a departure from their normal venues. So hopefully we are still complementing and not competing with our partners. And hopefully you will come out and enjoy the opportunity to see some really fun music. I’ve had conversations with members of this community who also tell me that the Vilar has a reputation for being pricey. Despite what you may have heard, Ozomatli tickets for Friday night are in fact $32, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer such an incredible band at that price. As the summer season comes to a close, if you haven’t been up the hill to see us yet this summer, I highly recommend giving Ozomatli a try. Our fall series, Underground Sound (which delivers seven concerts and seven drinks for $98), follows closely behind with Paula Cole kicking things off Sept. 23. Please visit us online at http://www.vilarpac.org or stop by the box office in Beaver Creek for tickets and more information. I’ll see you at the show!