Funkiphino perform free show in Vail Thursday |

Funkiphino perform free show in Vail Thursday

Caramie Schnell
VAIL CO, Colorado
Funkiphino - April 2011

There’s a myriad of questions where this Boulder band’s name could be used as the answer.

So how did you come up with your band name?


Say it fast enough, and people think you just said something else entirely.

In fact, that’s pretty much how the band got its name. Back in the late ’90s, the band members were sitting around a table, brainstorming.

“We were killing ourselves trying to come up with a name,” said keyboard player and singer Chris Fischer, one of the founding members of the band. “Someone went off on a tagent and we said, ‘what are you even talking about?’ ‘Fu** if I know,’ he replied. And we said, that’s it!”

The band performs in Vail “all the time,” Fischer said, but mostly at private galas and events, like the recent First Descents fundraiser at the Ritz Carlton in Bachelor Gulch.

“We play 120 shows a year regionally,” Fischer said. “It’s a great band, a real popular band, but come to think of it, I think this is the first time we’ve done a street thing there in Vail.”

The band will perform at tonight’s free Street Beat concert at Solaris in Vail Village. It’s the final Street Beat concert, and the Volvo XC70 will be given away Thursday night.

With 12 people on the stage, a five-piece horn section, two female lead singers, and a guitar player who raps during some of the songs, this band is worth checking out.

“There is so much talent in this group. We can pull out things that people aren’t expecting, and keep people on their toes,” Fischer said.

The band has been around for more than 13 years.

“Over the years we’ve done real neat projects,” Fischer said. “We did a Chicago tribute with Danny Seraphine, the original drummer for Chicago and a founding member … and last summer we did a big Michael Jackson tribute show with Jennifer Batten, Michael Jackson’s lead guitar player.”

Tonight, attendees can expect a combination of cover songs and originals. But even the cover songs don’t feel “canned,” Fischer said.

“When we do covers, the arrangements are much more dynamic and interesting, and they’re continually evolving too, which keeps things fresh and spontaneous,” he said.

Lots of bands talk about how diverse its sound is, well this band lives it. Tonight you’ll hear a variety of songs that could range from Tower of Power’s funk-heavy “Soul Vaccination,” to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind.”

“We kill that song (“Empire State of Mind”),” said Jessica Fischer, one of the band’s two trumpet players who is married to Chris Fischer. “It’s ridiculous and people love it.”

There will likely be a Michael Jackson song or two in the repetoire. And the band also likes to mash-up songs, sometimes putting disparate songs like Maroon Five’s “Moves Like Jagger,” with a Jamiroqui song or Black Eyed Pea’s singalong anthem “I Gotta Feeling” with Journey’s “Be Good To Yourself.”

“It’s totally random,” Jessica said. “Nobody ever knows that’s what we’re doing.

“I think we’d have a good time even if none of the fans were,” she continued. “We just have such a good time together … When we get on stage, it’s just electric.”

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at or 970-748-2984.

Support Local Journalism