Dark Star Orchestra's Founding Member Kevin Rosen Leaving the Band

As the pre-eminent Grateful Dead spirit band, and after 15 years together, Dark Star Orchestra will eclipse the 2200 show mark later this month; and for perspective, the Grateful Dead did 2315 shows in 30 years. Bassist Kevin Rosen is the longest running member of Dark Star Orchestra having performed over 2000 of the bands live shows since forming the group with a four-night stand at Martyrs’ in Chicago in November 1997.

Citing health issues of his aging mother and a need for an extended break from touring, Rosen will perform at the band’s 2ndannual Dark Star Jubilee Festival before finishing his low end duties for DSO at the June 1 tour-ending performance at Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in Portsmouth, NH.

A variety of bassists have stepped up to fill the vital role beginning with Skip Vangelas filling in May 9 – 14. Skip played with DSO rhythm guitarist/vocalist Rob Eaton in the NJ-based Border Legion and filled in on bass for four DSO Colorado shows in the Spring of 2001. Kevin returns to the road to handle the low end from May 15 to June 1. Starting with DSO’s summer tour, bassist Jim Allard will fill in as Dark Star Orchestra bassist staring June 28 through the summer tour dates.

Kevin’s note to Dark Star Orchestra fans and his band mates:

Dear friends,

After all my years of touring with Dark Star Orchestra, I find myself in need of an extended break from life on the road.  In addition, my mother’s declining health makes it even more important to be home at this time.

For the first five shows of our May tour,  our good friend, Skip Vengelas will be filling the bass role.  I will be returning for the rest of the tour, culminating with my last performance at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom on June 1.  Please know that I am leaving with a heavy heart.

I would like to thank all of the fans for your support throughout the years.   I would also like to express my gratitude to all the members of the DSO family.   Over the years,  you have become my family.  It has been one of the great pleasures of my life to be a part of DSO and I know that I am going to miss it.  I will surely miss my band mates, all of my friends in the audience and the many great people I have met along the way. 

Rest assured that the train will keep on rolling and the bass position will be in capable hands for years to come.

May all of your days be good ones!

Peace –

Kevin Rosen

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