Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk will play a free show at 3 p.m. Saturday in Gondola Square at Steamboat Ski Area as part of Ski Mardi Gras. The band features two sons of Neville Brothers members, a double bass attack and a distinctively New Orleans dance party sound.
Steamboat Springs Every Mardi Gras that he can remember, Ian Neville could hear the marching bands warming up from his house in downtown New Orleans.
And you didn’t have to be the son of legendary New Orleans keyboardist Art Neville — member of the Neville Brothers and the Meters — to be right in the middle of that lively explosion of vibrant culture each winter.
“Growing up was more about the parade, worrying about catching beads and cups and stuff,” recalled Ian Neville, now 30, in an interview with Explore Steamboat. “And my dad always had shows at Tipitina’s, which was, like, seven blocks away,”
But since he’s been touring with the band his cousin Ivan Neville launched almost 10 years ago, Ian Neville often finds himself outside New Orleans for the festivities. This year, he’ll play the Saturday before Fat Tuesday here in Steamboat Springs.
“You can have a Mardi Gras rage outside of New Orleans,” he said. “It’s not a full effect, but you can get the spirit going on.”
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk will play a free outdoor show at 3 p.m. Saturday in Gondola Square as part of Ski Mardi Gras.
Right before the show at 1:30 p.m., there will be a parade of “krewes” through the Steamboat base area and the crowning of a Mardi Gras rex and queen, which the community can vote on until 5 p.m. Friday.
Other Ski Mardi Gras festivities include a Cajun Crawfish Boil and festival from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, a free show from Southern rockers Leroy Justice at 3 p.m. Sunday, Zydeco music après ski Monday and a snow sculpture contest on Fat Tuesday.
Zydeco, funk, jazz and soul are integral parts of the New Orleans musical vernacular, but Dumpstaphunk puts an extra emphasis on the funk.
The band comprises Ivan Neville on keyboard, Ian Neville on guitar, Tony Hall and Nick Daniels on bass and Nikki Glaspie on drums.
Ivan Neville first put his own band together to play a Jazz Fest set in 2003, and Ian Neville said the band took on a life and identity of its own in 2005.
“We decided to make Dumpstaphunk the full-time rage,” Ian Neville said. “Some of it was the timing, but it just felt good. It seemed to be heading in the right direction. I’m glad we did it.”
He said touring with his father and uncles gave him the opportunity to learn, and the elder Neville Brothers clearly are proud of the next generation: Art Neville recently sat in with Dumpstaphunk on his 74th birthday.
The name Dumpstaphunk comes from a deep, dark and dirty place, all the way in the bottom of a Dumpster where Ian Neville said the dirtiest funk lives.
“You can’t help some of the grooves; it’s undeniable,” he said.
He said he and Ivan Neville don’t feel pressure to carry on the legacy that their fathers began decades ago; he thinks that will happen in its own sweet time.
“As long as we continue to do what we do and try to do our original thing, that will take care of itself,” he said about carrying on the Neville tradition. “At least we’ll carry on the idea that some of the nastiest funk out there comes from New Orleans.”