Ski, ska to be main menu at CMC party

Catching air, catching tunes

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— After Colorado Mountain College students try to catch some of the biggest air at Howelsen Hill Saturday, Chupacabra will perform a free concert to celebrate award winners at Olympian Hall.

CMC's third annual Big Air contest features those die-hard skiers and snowboarders wanting to put as much air between themselves and the ground as possible, but who also find importance in an education.

Gillian Pierce, event organizer, said about 40 to 50 students participate in the event, but having Chupacabra perform this year hopefully will entice more.

Everyone from judges to contestants are, or were, affiliated with the college, and only CMC students can participate.

"Many students spend a lot of time on the mountain, so we're trying to get them in the spotlight," Pierce said.

Chupacabra, the eight-member Boulder band, rips up the stage with a salsa, samba, reggae, afro-pop and jazz funk with roots in Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, West Africa, Europe and the United States.

A plethora of percussion, keyboards, saxophones, guitars, bass and marimbas give this international movement band a sound all their own. Chupacabra is committed to producing pop music and global grooves.

Chupacabra comes from a traditional legend concerning a mysterious Latin American being. While members of the band discourage translating the difficult word, it refers to the desire of the human spirit to connect with a greater spiritual force.

Pierce said he heard from students that Chupacabra has a large college-student following and thought for the price, they would be great to have in Steamboat for the CMC event.

Anthony Salvo, on soprano and alto saxophone, violin, mandolin and flute, said their melting pot of music comes from a scene that's happening around the world, with cultures sharing ideas and music.

"The Boulder scene is chock full of world sounds. It's a really fertile scene to be in," Salvo said.

After posters were put up around Boulder of the idea of Chupacabra, three years later the band has its third album, "Plan B."

"We love playing in Steamboat. There's such a high energy and a great group of followers," Salvo said.

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