SNOWMASS VILLAGE -Snowmass' summer season kicks off June 8 and 9 with the ninth annual Snowmass Chili Pepper and Brew Fest. This year there is a new event producer, Joe Lang and Tumbleweed Productions, and new times for some of the concerts and tastings."After 16 years of being a part of building Jazz Aspen Snowmass, I'm excited to start another chapter," said Joe Lang, president of Tumbleweed Productions. "I couldn't think of a better chapter to start with than the Town of Snowmass Village and their summer event, and I'm excited to take over Chili Pepper and Brew Fest as well as the Thursday night concerts this summer."The Chili Pepper and Brew Fest begins Snowmass' summer season and typically draws 4,000 to 6,000 people to Fanny Hill for two days of chili cook-offs and tastings from more than 30 International Chili Society cooks, samplings from more than 100 microbrews and some small batch distilleries, and plenty of music with four outdoor concerts. This year's lineup of bands includes Galactic, Gogol Bordello and the just announced The Congress and the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars.On Friday, the venue opens at 4 p.m. and can be accessed from the Snowmass Mall. Chili tastings from more than 30 society and local cooks will be available from 5 to 8 p.m., along with beer from more than 100 microbrews.At 4:30 on Friday, the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars take the stage for the opening concert. The All-Stars are one of Africa's top touring and recording bands. The heart of the All-Stars' music can be found in old-school reggae, funky African grooves and deep tribal chants.The headlining band for Friday's second concert at 6:30 p.m. is The Congress."They're from Denver, and they've got a really nice following," Lang said. "Their music is straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, and they were here a few years ago at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day concert in the outside music lounge."On Saturday, the venue opens at noon. New Orleans electric sensation Galactic opens the third concert of the event at 1 p.m.Galactic has a unique funk sound combining hip-hop, electronic, world music, rock, blues and jazz."Galactic is the heart of New Orleans, and it is quite a coo that we got them this year at this time," Lang said.Beer and samplings from the society chili cooks will be available from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Chili Pepper venue.The second concert Saturday begins at 6 p.m. and features Gogol Bordello. Known for its Gypsy punk and eastern European style of music and worldwide fan base, Gogol Bordello is truly an international band.Gogol's music has been described as successfully integrating booming bass and drums, with harmonious violin and accordion to create an eclectic bar band sound.For ticket prices and more information on the 2012 Snowmass Chili Pepper and Brew Fest, visit www.snowmasschiliandbrew.com.
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