The Jerry Garcia Band was a San Francisco Bay Area rock band led by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. Garcia founded the band in 1975; it remained the most important of his various side-projects until his death in 1995. The band toured and recorded sporadically throughout its twenty-year existence, generally, but not always during breaks in the Grateful Dead's schedule.
Over the years, the lineup of the Jerry Garcia Band changed a number of times. The one constant member besides Garcia himself was bassist John Kahn. Melvin Seals had the next longest tenure, serving as keyboardist from 1980 onward. Seals became band leader following Garcia's death and changed the band's name to JGB.
Jerry Garcia's musical interests were famously varied, and this was reflected in the diverse music played by his band. Like the Grateful Dead, the Jerry Garcia Band played rock music that was influenced by blues, folk, country, and jazz. The band also played rhythm and blues and reggae songs, and rock versions of American roots music. Jerry Garcia notably covered many songs by Bob Dylan with the Jerry Garcia Band. Like the Dead, the Jerry Garcia Band emphasized musical improvisation, and helped create what is now known as jam band music.
During Garcia's lifetime, the Jerry Garcia Band released one studio album, Cats Under the Stars, and one live album, Jerry Garcia Band. Several more live albums were released posthumously.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license