Series to rock Slopeside

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— On Sunday, Slopeside Grill will kick off its annual six-week concert series that promises plenty of funk, jazz, rock and reggae.

The Sunday afternoon series, held at a venue in front of Slopeside Grill at the Steamboat Ski Area, is in its seventh year.

All shows are from 3:30 to

7 p.m., weather permitting.

This Sunday, Carlos Washington and Giant People, a funk and jazz fusion band from San Diego, will perform. Washington is the former trumpet player of Karl Denson's Tiny Universe.

Wake the Dead Music took over the production of Slopeside Series a year ago and presented the community with more than the reggae acts it hosted in previous years.

Chris Corna, owner of Slopeside, said the event started because Sunday was always a lazy day with not much to do.

"In the beginning it was just reggae, but then we realized everyone loves free music," Corna said. "Now it's turned into a social event rather than just great music."

Corna collaborated with Wake the Dead Music Productions to gather a strong musical lineup for the series.

Corna said mixing up the styles of music has changed the crowd at Slopeside.

"We've tried to mix it up a lot. It used to be just reggae," said Julian Farmer, recent co-owner of Wake the Dead. "We've got some good people coming this year."

Wake the Dead started in Steamboat Springs and moved to New Orleans nearly a year ago.

Casey Phillips, founder of Wake the Dead, started with one venue and is working on building a route between Steamboat Springs and New Orleans to help push bands in the right direction.

"We would tell a band we could only pay them $500 or $600 and they would barely break even with gas costs," Farmer said. "Now we've given them a string of seven or eight venues to play. We're trying to package a band as well."

Cee Knowledge and The Cosmic Funk Orchestra with its hip-hop, acid jazz mix headline the Slopeside Series July 22.

Drums and Tuba will open for Djatformer guitarist with Culture, who brings reggae to the stage July 29.

On Aug. 5, Merl Saunders, a former Grateful Dead keyboardist, will perform. Saunders' opening act has yet to be decided.

The Young Dubliners, who performed at Tequiza Rocks the 'Boat in April, take the stage for the series Aug. 12. Meadowlark Jivin' will open.

The Rebirth Brass Band of New Orleans ends the Slopeside Series Aug. 19. New Orleans Juice will be the opening act.

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