Musical gumbo

The vibe of New Orleans will infuse Gondola Square

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Be prepared for the jubilant extension of the spirit of New Orleans when the Dirty Dozen Brass Band comes to town Saturday.

"The music that we play makes your body move in strange ways that it has never moved before," said Roger Lewis, the band's baritone and soprano sax player.

¤ The Dirty Dozen Brass Band performs as part of the Bud Light Rock the Boat Free Series

¤ 3 p.m. Saturday

¤ The base of Steamboat Ski Area

¤ Free

For the past 30 years, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has brought New Orleans' music to the world. "We are always on the road. That's what we do," Lewis said.

He describes the band's audiences as energetic and ecstatic. The band's blend of traditional N'awlins brass, bebop, jazz, R&B and funk can't help but make you groove.

The band began its career playing at softball games, funerals, picnics and parades. This week, they played for elementary school children in Hawaii. "We have developed some younger fans," Lewis said.

The band's omnipresence even earned them an official "Dirty Dozen Brass Band Day" announced by the mayor of New Orleans, but the band has never celebrated it. That's probably because they are too busy giving people the good time they're looking for.

"It's all about fun, but there is a seriousness, too," Lewis said. "We give you something for your mind, your body and your soul."

It is the crowd that powers these godfathers of jazz, and Steamboat is a venue they get excited about. "I love Steamboat. The audience is really uplifting. The vibe is always good. It's just a hip environment," Lewis said.

Sometimes the band plays with special guests. Its performance Saturday will include "The Dirty Old Man" (Lewis himself), who makes the ladies swoon. When asked what that entails, Lewis replied, "The ladies just go crazy. You have to experience it for yourself."

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