Vail free concert: Its just like gumbo |

Vail free concert: Its just like gumbo

Charlie Owencowen@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado Theres a party coming to town a big one. Vail, Colorado does its best to convert our snowy mountain town into a semblance of New Orleanss French Quarter during the week of Mardi Gras and leading the musical charge of entertainment is JoJos Mardi Gras Band. So we may not get all the delights of the Crescent City delicious, fresh seafood, spontaneous parades through city streets and boobs for beads but we still get a taste of the music for which New Orleans is famous.John JoJo Hermann is the keyboard player for Widespread Panic but once a year he takes some time off to play the week of Mardi Gras with his side project. The tradition started six years ago when he and some fellow musicians played a party on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans.We dont tour or anything like that. Just every (year) around Mardi Gras we go out and play. Last year we did the South and this year we got invited to Colorado. Colorado is a great Mardi Gras state, Hermann said.Perfect fit for CarniVailJoJos Mardi Gras Band plans the free show as part of the CarniVail celebration in honor of the famed New Orleans week of revelry.Jo Jos Mardi Gras Band captures the quintessential sound of New Orleans Cajun funk and blues and is a perfect fit for CarniVail. CarniVail was created as a Vail festival to celebrate Mardi Gras and all the merriment, music, food and liveliness that goes with the holiday. Jo Jos Mardi Gras Band will definitely get concert-goers dancing in the streets of Vail Village and round out an already awesome festival, said Natalie Fandrey, a public relations manager for Highline Sports & Entertainment in Vail.Though not from New Orleans originally, Hermann said he had a deep love for the regions music.It just feels so good. I love the rhythms that come out of New Orleans. Its unique and Ive always been really, really into all the different rhythms and different styles. They all just kind of come together. Its just like gumbo. Its a little bit of that, a little bit of this and all these different ingredients that just come together. Ive always love that about New Orleans. You dont really find that anywhere else, Hermann said.Considering that the band has the words Mardi Gras in it, theres a lot of pressure for Hermann and his boys to bring the party, which he said is no problem.When you play this kind of music, its real easy, Hermann said. The music does it for you … Its infectious. Its not like we have to try too hard. We just play the music.

What: JoJos Mardi Gras Band.When: Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.Where: Checkpoint Charlie in Vail.Cost: Free.More information: Call 970-476-6797 or visit Life Writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

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