Instrumental ensemble Jazz Is Dead, which has made a name for itself for its interpretations of classic Grateful Dead songs with jazz influences, has lots to celebrate. The group just announced dates for its 25th-anniversary tour, which will feature a performance of Grateful Dead’s sixth studio album, Wake of The Flood, in honor of its 50th anniversary, along with other selections.
Another exciting factor to note – the Jazz Is Dead XXV tour will reunite Jazz Is Dead founding member and bassist Alphonso Johnson with guitarist Steve Kimock, who played together in the post-Garcia Grateful Dead offshoot The Other Ones together with Bob Weir.
Johnson and Kimock will be joined on the road by Pete Lavezzoli on drums and Bobby Lee Rodgers on guitar.
Johnson – who has also played with Weather Report, Santana and Bobby & The Midnites – formed Jazz Is Dead in 1998 with drummer Billy Cobham (Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Bobby & The Midnites), keyboardist T Lavitz (Dixie Dregs) and guitarist Jimmy Herring (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Widespread Panic). Drummers Rod Morgenstern (Dixie Dregs) & Jeff Sipe (Leftover Salmon) replaced Cobham in 1999, and guitarist Jeff Pevar (CSN, David Crosby CPR, Phil Lesh &Friends) took over Herring’s spot in 2000.
Quoting Friedrich Nietzsche’s “’Without music, life would be a mistake,” Johnson tells Pollstar, “I feel very honored to be able to celebrate the music of a true American artform. When we started Jazz Is Dead in 1998, I always knew that this group was special. Even without me, the music kept evolving and taking on newer shapes and sounds. Now we have this amazing opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of Wake of the Flood and the 25th anniversary of Jazz Is Dead. I am really excited to be playing with such a stellar group of musicians and reconnecting with audiences once again.”
Jazz Is Dead has recorded three albums, including 1999’s Laughing Water, an instrumental reinterpretation of Wake Of The Flood.
Box office reports submitted to Pollstar for Jazz Is Dead include appearances on a 2015 tour supporting Jefferson Starship, including an Aug. 14, 2015, show at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pa. that grossed $23,880.
The 25th anniversary tour kicks off Jan. 10 in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., at The Coach House. Check out the routing below.
Tickets for most of the 2023 dates go on sale Friday, Aug. 5.
1.10.23 Capistrano CA/ The Coach House
1.11.23 Montclair CA/ The Canyon
1.12.23 Agoura CA/ The Canyon
1.13.23 SF CA/ The Regency Ballroom
1.15.23 Denver CO/ Paramount Theatre
1.17.23 Phoenix AZ/ Celebrity Theatre
1.19.23 Madison WI/ Barrymore Theatre
1.20.23 St. Charles IL/ Arcada Theatre
1.21.23 Des Plaines IL/ Des Plaines Theatre
1.22.23 Cleveland OH/ Agora Theater
1.24.23 Boston MA/ The Wilbur
1.25.23 Glenside PA/ Keswick Theatre
1.26.23 Tarrytown NY/ Tarrytown Music Hall
1.27.23 NY NY/ Palladium at Times Square
1.28.23 Jim Thorpe PA/ Penn’s Peak