Snowlive draws all-star players from rock, reggae, New Orleans |

Snowlive draws all-star players from rock, reggae, New Orleans

Tim Parsons

A Hasidic Jew, a North Mississippi Allstar and a jazz cat walk into a casino … If you haven’t heard this one, you don’t know about the unprecedented musical event at the Crystal Bay Casino.

The rock and soul trio Soulive perform Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 22-25, with guest artists each differently themed night. Wednesday is reggae, Thursday rock, Friday New Orleans and Saturday a multi-genre jam. The impressive list of artists include Jewish reggae star Matisyahu, Luther Dickinson of the Black Crowes and North Mississippi Allstars, George Porter Jr. of the Meters, Ivan Neville of Dumpstafunk, jazz saxophonist Karl Denson and rock and blues guitarist Anders Osborne.

Soulive has for three years been host of a similar 10-day event in New York called Bowlive.

“We’ve scaled back on touring, focusing more on these types of events,” said Soulive’s drummer, Alan Evans. “We are more comfortable in one place for an extended period of time.”

Last week Soulive presented a similar event in Boulder, Colo.

Soulive’s manager is Jeff Krasno, who is the co-founder of the Wanderlust Festival, an annual summer event at Squaw Valley USA. Krasno’s brother Eric is Soulive’s guitarist.

Jeff Krasno’s familiarity with Tahoe played a role in creating Snowlive, which has been in the works since last summer. Crystal Bay Casino Manager Bill Wood said Snowlive could become an annual event.

“The players don’t have to bring their entire band, so it’s fun for them to not put together a whole tour,” Wood said.

Eric Krasno said, “It’s nice, rather than hang out in a different city every night, to camp out for a few days and get to really soak it in. … There are a lot of impromptu sit-ins. It’s great.”

A highlight will be watching the guitar combination of Krasno, a jazzy R&B player, and Dickinson, an aggressive southern rocker. Thursday’s rock night also includes a surprise guest appearance.

Ivan Neville will play at New York’s biggest show of the year Friday, a tribute concert for Hubert Sumlin, before flying in for Saturday’s grand finale.

Neville is the son of Aaron Neville and nephew of Art “Papa Funk” Neville of the Meters, the pioneering funk band from New Orleans which includes Porter Jr., who plays Friday and Saturday.

“Ivan recorded a few tunes on one of our albums a long time ago, and we’ve all been hanging out on a jam cruise,” Evans said. “We’ve all been hanging out for years and definitely have a good feel for each other. Ivan did a whole nationwide tour with us a few years ago.”

Saturday’s show is sold out but there were tickets available for the other nights at the time of Lake Tahoe Action’s press run.

“I think there’s gong to be a lot of smiling faces; that’s always what makes it the most fun,” Wood said.

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