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Squirrel Nut Zippers to play in Vail

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyThe Squirrel Nut Zippers are known for helping to revive swing music in the '90s.
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VAIL, Colorado ” Squirrel Nut Zippers usher in the first Bud Light Street Beat free concert of 2008 on Wednesday night with an eclectic new-age salute to the ragtime jazz of the 1920s and ’30s.

Named for the Squirrel Brand’s Nut Zippers and based out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the band applied punk’s “do it yourself” aesthetic to early 20th century American popular music and helped to create the swing music revival of the 1990s.

Unlike their contemporaries such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, however, the Zippers incorporate everything from Harlem Hot Music, Cab Calloway, Delta Blues and Fats Waller to Tom Waits. Their song “Hell,” a single that peaked at number 13, was calypso music in the tradition of a 1930s artists like Lord Executor, while the band’s lyrics sometimes reference William Faulkner or quoted 2,000-year-old Chinese poetry.

For the past 15 years, Squirrel Nut Zippers have been redefining big band jazz by infusing the traditional swing style with elements of retro rhythm, rock and punk. They spent the summer of 1997 touring with Neil Young. They performed at the 1996 Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta, while also opening for President Clinton’s inaugural ball in 1997, and have appeared on major network television shows such as The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

Although the band never officially broke up, they took an indefinite hiatus from recording and touring in 2001. In early 2007, the Zippers announced new tour dates, performing concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada in the spring and summer. Future plans call for a new album, slated for a 2008 release.

All Bud Light Street Beat free concerts get underway at 6 p.m. at Check Point Charlie in the heart of Vail Village. 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 performances, Eagle, Lake and Summit County residents can register once at each Street Beat show to win the season-long grand prize of a 2008 Volvo C30. Volvo Cars of North America will give away the sedan to a lucky local (who must be present to win) at the final concert on April 9.

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 April 9, though the winner need not be present to win.

The Bud Light Street Beat free concert series will continue next month with a performance by Stockholm Syndrome on Feb. 20. Additional free shows are slated for March 19, April 2 and the final concert on April 9.

For additional information on Bud Light Street Beat, visit http://www.streetbeatconcerts.com.


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