Bringing the Big Easy to Vail |

Bringing the Big Easy to Vail

Daily staff report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyRebirth Brass Band 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.

VAIL ” While Mardis Gras is still officially two weeks away, Wednesday’s installment of the Bud Light Street Beat free concert series is bound to create a Big Easy party in the streets of Vail Village 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 underway 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, a 2009 Volvo C-30, awarded to one lucky local at the final concert on April 15.

Out of town guests can also cash in and register to win 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

What: The Rebirth Brass Band plays Street Beat concert

Where: Checkpoint Charlie, Vail Village

When: Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information: Visit

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