Kings of the party |

Kings of the party

KEYSTONE -Skiing and partying long have gone together, but partying usually doesn’t do much to improve snowriding ability – unless it’s Team Summit’s bash.The 22nd annual Ski Ball, featuring a cocktail reception, a four-course gourmet meal, auctions and live music, usually raises $60,000 annually for Team Summit, said Ski Ball co-chair Debbie Cirillo. Team Summit offers alpine and freestyle skiing and snowboarding programs to more than 350 snowriders, ages 6 to 23. Through the funds the Ski Ball raises, every athlete receives a partial or full scholarship for the training program.—Dancing the night awayChris Daniels and the Kings kick the ball into high gear with its blend of blues, swing, jazz, funk and pop.”The band is always having fun,” Chris Daniels said. “We clown around a lot – between extended solos that travel to different places to various quotes from songs like “If You’re So Smart, How Come You’re Not Rich?’ and lines like “You went too far in the beauty booth when you died your hair chartreuse.'”Chris Daniels formed the outfit as a one-time party band to play at the Blue Note in Denver, but since then, it has appeared with B.B. King, Blues Traveler, The Neville Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Taj Mahal and Bonnie Raitt, among others.”Nineteen years later, we’ve toured Europe and released eight records,” Daniels said. “I’m not sure what happened, but I’ve had a great time doing it.”The band always has approached its sound as a project -a fun and experimental exploration of musical options. The adventure led to playing jump blues, a rich blues form based on more than three chords, unlike traditional blues, Daniels said.Now Chris Daniels and the Kings are working on a new sound with an upcoming album, backing away from a hard rock, bluesy sound and moving toward acoustic tunes.”It has to do with the possibilities,” he said. “When you’re basing things around electric instrumentation, it’s kind of limited. Our rhythm section is electric, then we have the horn players. It seemed like a natural thing to expand the rhythm section and bring it into an acoustic sound. It brings out all other kinds of possibilities.”Currently, the band only is breaking out three of the possible 12 new tunes at gigs, preferring to stick with funk, classic rock and swing songs.”It’s a big sound,” Daniels said. “There’s not a lot of bands that use a full horn section. There’s just something exciting about a horns section that gets people jumping. Our job is to get people up and rockin’.”—Dining and bidding at the ballBefore people hit the dance floor, auctions, dinner and drinks heat up the evening.From 5-7:30 p.m., guests may bid on nearly 500 items, including dining certificates, fine art, Colorado Avalanche tickets and sports equipment, while enjoying appetizers, beer, wine and soda. The live auction begins at 7:30 p.m. and includes trips to Mexico, Barbados, Jamaica, Florida, Arizona and the Cayman Islands as well as hockey sticks, authentic jerseys and a Broncos football signed by the athletes. In addition, a computerized auction offers hotel stays, jewelry and a video camera.A lucky martini drinker will win a half-carat diamond at the martini bar, and those purchasing a balloon have a chance to win a cruise.Dinner begins with a cucumber treviso bundle and artesian breads, followed by a duet of steak Diane and ruby red trout stuffed with crab, truffle-whipped Colorado Yukon new potatoes and a squash medley by Keystone chef Joe Damonte. Pastry chef Ned Archibald tops off the dinner with mille tuille filled with berries and cream.The theme for the Ski Ball, mountain memories, centers on the history of skiing in Summit County. Tickets for the ball are $100 and may be purchased by calling (970) 968-6008 or (970) 968-2318, ext. 40010.—When & Where? Event: 22nd annual Ski Ball? When: 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7? Where: Keystone Convention Center, Keystone

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