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Rex Grants, Musical Caravan Events and The World As It Could Be

August began with our 2nd 3-day Institute on The World As It Could Be curriculum, presented in collaboration with the University of San Francisco. A filled class of 25 avidly took in the presented material to lea rn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and experience applying music, visual arts,  spoken word, performance arts and movement to express their personal connection to human rights issues.  The photo here shows the class members rehearsing for their culminating presentation.  The video of the culminating presentation helps demonstrate the intensely moving experience of working with the curriculum.  We are excited to know that the work done August 2-3 is now being applied in classrooms and communities in the Bay Area, as well as Milwaukee, WI!

On August 10th, we were privileged to experience a very special night of story telling by Bob Weir, Carolyn Garcia, John Perry Barlow, and Mickey Hart about Rex and other reflections, led by Bill Walton, and held at Bob's new TRI Studios. We'll soon have the video of the evening available.

As to Rex Musical Caravan events, the SF Giants made August 9th another great tribute to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, and once again generously included the Rex Foundation as a recipient of charitable proceeds.   Adding to this already positive energy is the enthusiastic support reflected in the following upcoming Caravan events:

  • Be part of the special project by Fan Mosaics, LLC, where 2,500 Jerry Garcia fans have the opportunity to include their photos in an officially licensed mosaic print of the Grateful Dead legend based on the noted photo taken by world-famous photographer Herb Greene. Here are the participation details.
  • Blair Babcock and the Blurry Pickers are donating half the proceeds of the download sales of their song "Fairlee Well" to Rex. Click here to read Blair Babcock's story about the song and hear "Fairlee Well."
  • On Saturday, September 10th, the Kind Buds once again perform in support of Rex at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northhampton, MA, as described in more detail here.
  • The Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson of Dark Star Orchestra, along with Particle, headline the Third Annual Pink Moon Music and Arts Festival September 15-18, 2011 in Rock Camp WV.  We were very pleased to learn that the impetus to support local area schools came from the Rex Jam at the All Good Festival. Check out the details of the festival and how Rex is generously supported.
  • Ann Arbor's own Macpodz are heading East and hopping on board the Rex Musical Caravan with a concert at the Brooklyn Bowl September 27. Here are the details.

Thanks to contributors like you who donate $5 or more, initiate Caravan events, support our program work, and take part in Rex benefits, we are able to carry out The World As It Could Be initiative, keep making our grants and generate positive community connections along the way.  Check out the list of outstanding 2011 beneficiaries so far, and see, as you explore our website, everything else that your support makes possible

Young Deadhead Composes "The World As It Could Be" & More Good News

Henry Sidle, a 12-year old self-proclaimed avid Deadhead and musician, learned about the Rex Foundation when he read a review of The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia.  He contacted us, seeking to include Rex as the community service element of his upcoming Bar Mitzvah.  When I asked if he would consider learning more about The World As It Could Be project and help raise awareness about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, perhaps applying his musical talents along the way, Henry enthusiastically said, "Yes!"  Henry composed an original song "The World As It Could Be" and created a video to help get the word out about furthering human rights. Click here to read more about Henry's project, see the video and the song lyrics, and learn more about my unexpected, yet very special personal connection to Henry. Henry will be performing this song at the Gathering of the Vibes Festival, interviewed by David Gans.

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Here are upcoming Rex Musical Caravan events that reflect the wonderful support of the musical community and beyond.  Enjoy some fun, great music and kindred connection, while supporting the Rex Foundation at the same time:

July 8-10 in Tipton, PA - Pennsylvania's Mysterytrain once again supports the Rex Foundation, this time at the multi-day JesterFest at the PPG Pavilion.  Click here for details.

July 14-17 - The All Good Festival once again supports the Rex Foundation, including a Rex Jam on Saturday with Matt Butler and The Everyone Orchestra to support the Preston High School Music Program.

Saturday, August 6 - Sonoma County's own Tribal Hippie UnderGround Zone (THUGZ) are doing another show for Rex - outdoors under the stars at the rustic Rio Nido Roadhouse.  Here are the details.

Tuesday, August 9 - The SF Giants will pay tribute to the Grateful Dead with another special event package that includes support for the Rex Foundation as they face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Here is information on how to get your tickets now.

Rex Foundation Announces Jerry Garcia Award and Grants


The Rex Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to supporting distinctive arts, environmental and social services programs through grassroots giving, is pleased to announce the recipient of the Jerry Garcia Award, along with other new grantees.

Arts for Humanity! is the recipient of the Rex Foundation's Jerry Garcia Award in memory of Grateful Dead guitarist and founding Rex Board member Jerry Garcia.  This award honors and supports individuals and groups that work to encourage creativity in young people. We believe the work of Arts for Humanity! (AH!) is just what the Jerry Garcia Award is about.  AH! celebrates humanity through the arts with programs that cultivate creativity and empower people with developmental disabilities, at-risk youth, the elderly and others in partnership with local artists and the Santa Barbara community. AH!'s performing and visual arts programs benefit individuals and build community by giving a voice to the underserved through the power and beauty of the arts.

We made four additional grants to grassroots non-profit organizations doing outstanding work.  In connection with the generous support of the Sacramento Kings that resulted from the February and March, 2011 Grateful Dead Tribute games, the following two local area programs received Rex grants:

  • Sacramento Blues Society Blues In The Schools (BITS) program, which gives Sacramento-area youth an opportunity to participate in a dynamic interactive musical experience with professional musicians. The Blues In The Schools program brings students together with musicians, educators, storytellers, and other performers in a synergistic environment, creating a free flowing exchange of the Blues experience and facilitating a lifelong passion for learning.
  • The Yolo County Children's Alliance, which was established in 2002 as an essential services program at Alyce Norman Center in West Sacramento to address a number of concerns that impacted children and families.  The Rex grant helps support the Children and Families' Access to Food program that provides 150 low-income families with fresh fruits and vegetables and other food items each week. This program, threatened by recent state budget cuts, not only provides essential food and nutrition education, but also enables the Alliance to reach more families with additional support services.

The two other Rex grant recipients are:

  • The Tiburon Salmon Institute (TSI), an organization that teaches school-age youth about salmon, steelhead, and the stream, river and ocean habitats that we share with them, with the overall mission to "Empower Today's Youth To Save Tomorrow's Salmon."  The Rex grant of $5,000 both supports this vital work and helped make possible a matched grant from the Belevedere Community Foundation, thereby significantly boosting the ability of TSI to advance its program.
  • The Bolinas Stinson Summer Camp provides all local West Marin children with equal access to memorable summer camp experiences. Although camp fees are kept to a third the cost of similar camps, many area families are unable to pay even part.  The Rex grant provides funding for The Music Project for the Bolinas Stinson Summer Camp to provide additional activities in the form of music education for the campers, with emphasis on building community through music, especially through the rhythms of drumming.

Click here to learn more about each of these great Rex grantees.

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About the Rex Foundation:

Furthering what Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead started 27 years ago, the Rex Foundation endeavors to fund grassroots programs that are often under the radar of larger funding entities, yet work in bold, innovative ways to carry out essential work toward a healthy environment, promotion of the arts, protection of indigenous cultures, assisting others less fortunate, building strong communities, and educating children and adults.  The Rex Foundation has distributed $8.6 million in grants to over 1,000 programs across the U.S. and internationally, while also carrying out fundraising initiatives that foster creativity and positive community connections.  Visit www.rexfoundation.org for a complete list of grantees and information about current initiatives.

Rex Foundation Positive News & New Solar Energy Connection

The Rex Foundation community of grantees and supporters provide positive news to remind us of all the good work being done every day to address current challenges.

Check out our recently published Food for Thought feature about the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP), recipient of the 2004 Rex Foundation Bill Graham Award.  As you will see, since 2001, ISLP has been providing much needed legal expertise to help nations across the world effectively deal with major challenges from natural disasters to political upheaval.  Even as we read about the current struggles in the Middle East, ISLP is providing helpful expertise and guidance.

Last month, Sarah Crowell, Artistic Director of Rex Grantee Destiny Arts Center, was honored by San Francisco's Public TV Station KQED as a 2011 "Women's History Hero".  Here is more information about the honor, and why Sarah's work and that of Destiny Arts Center are so deserving of this recognition.

Knowing that migrating to renewable energy, along with conservation, is vital to environmental health, we are pleased to announce a connection with Sungevity, a company seeking to expand availability of affordable solar energy while also supporting non-profit work.  Click here to get the details on how Sungevity's solar energy lease program might work for your home and, if so, how Rex will be supported as well.

The Rex Foundation is honored to be a vehicle for charitable contributions to support the essential work of grassroots non-profit programs, like HeadCount, pictured here.   The following are different ways you can help support Rex Foundation work while also enjoying great music and connection:

  • Join Kuli Loach on Sunday, April 17 when they will play Grateful Dead music at the historic Blue Moon in Seattle, WA, helping celebrate the venue's 77th anniversary while also supporting Rex.  Here are the details. We thank Kuli Loach and all the other musicians and businesses who are part of the Rex Musical Caravan for their ongoing generosity and support of Rex and grassroots giving. E-mail us at info@rexfoundation.org or call 415-561-3134 to get on board the Caravan.
  • We are excited to announce the release of 12 tracks of outstanding music from the December 4, 2010 Rex Benefit Concert "The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia." Enjoy the unique musical experience that took place at The Fillmore in San Francisco, bringing together Jesse McReynolds, Peter Rowan, David Nelson and their respective band members to play Jerry Garcia/ Robert Hunter and traditional American roots songs together. Click here for the full story of the connections the gifted musicians shared with Jerry Garcia, as well as to obtain the download versions and CD of the music, and see all who have made this release possible.
  • Check out the "Support Rex's Work" page of our website to see how you can make a charitable contribution, while also enjoying music, Rex merchandise and other goodies.

Rex Foundation releases The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia

On Tuesday March 29, 2011 the Rex Foundation will release 12 tracks from The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia. Recorded at The Fillmore in San Francisco, this special live album features some of Garcia’s oldest cohorts playing some of his most well-known songs.

Hosted by the Rex Foundation at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium on December 4, 2010, the benefit concert entitled “The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia” was a historic night. Among the evening’s unique music experiences was the bringing together of Jesse McReynolds, Peter Rowan and David Nelson.

McReynolds, Rowan, and Nelson each shared a deep connection with Garcia dating back to the early 1960s. In 1962, when Jerry Garcia began playing the banjo and exploring bluegrass music, he formed a band called the Hart Valley Drifters with David Nelson on guitar. In 1964, as part of his bluegrass pilgrimage through the American South, Jerry sought out the even-then legendary bluegrass musicians “Jim and Jesse” (McReynolds). Garcia held Jesse’s mandolin playing and music in high esteem for many more years to come. In 1969, as the Grateful Dead released Aoxomoxoa, Jerry was also collaborating with other musical friends. He reconnected with David Nelson and John “Marmaduke” Dawson to form New Riders of the Purple Sage. He formed another bluegrass band, Old and in the Way, with David Grisman, John Kahn, Peter Rowan and Vassar Clements. Coming full circle, in October 2010, McReynolds released Songs of the Grateful DeadA Tribute to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, collaborating with none other than David Nelson.

At the December 4th benefit event, the featured artists, along with members of their respective bands, which included Garrett McReynolds, Steve Thomas, Jody Stecher, Keith Little, Paul Knight, Barry Sless, Robin Sylvester, John Molo, Mookie Siegel, and special guest Matt Butler of The Everyone Orchestra, had the exceptional opportunity to play Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter and traditional American roots songs together.

Following the show many people noted that this remarkable music should be made available to those who could not attend, as well as to extend the reach of the benefit to provide additional charitable support to the Rex Foundation. On Tuesday March 29, 2011 this will be the case with downloads and CDs available from nugs.net for all to enjoy. As a special bonus, nugs.net is offering a free album listening party during the week of the release exclusively at nugs.net/wheel.

The Wheel – A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia Track List is as follows:

1. Black Muddy River
2. Ripple
3. Deep Elem Blues
4. Peggy-0
5. Friend of the Devil
6. Alabama Getaway
7. Standing on the Moon
8. Franklin’s Tower
9. Casey Jones
10. Dark Hollow
11. The Wheel
12. Cumberland Blues

The compilation will be available beginning March 29, 2011 in the following formats:
·MP3, FLAC, and Apple Lossless downloads at nugs.net/wheel
·iTunes download
·CD only available at nugs.net/wheel

About Rex Foundation:
Furthering what Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead started 27 years ago, the Rex Foundation endeavors to fund grassroots programs that are often under the radar of larger funding entities, yet work in bold, innovative ways to carry out essential work toward a healthy environment, promotion of the arts, protection of indigenous cultures, assisting others less fortunate, building strong communities, and educating children and adults. The Rex Foundation has distributed $8.6 million in grants to over 1,000 programs across the U.S. and internationally, while also carrying out fundraising initiatives that foster creativity and positive community connections. Visit www.rexfoundation.org for a complete list of grantees and information about current initiatives.

Black Tie-Dye Ball with DSO on April 7th

Put on your favorite tie-dye and join us Thursday, April 7th at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco for a Black Tie-Dye Ball with Dark Star Orchestra. From 6:00 - 8:00 enjoy a Sound Check Party, followed by drinks, finger foods and mingling with the artists.  Click here for ticket details, including how to join the pre-show party even if you already have your concert tickets.

Enjoy great music while also supporting the Rex Foundation by being part of these upcoming Rex Musical Caravan East Coast events:

* Saturday, April 2, Half Step, playing Grateful Dead music at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall in Riverhead, NY, will contribute $2.00 per ticket to the Rex Foundation. Click here for details.

* Saturday, April 9, Reflections Band, now in its third year on the Rex Musical Caravan, is joined by Lo Faber and Aaron Maxwell of God Street Wine at Mexi Cali Live in Teaneck, NJ, as described here in more detail.

As you check out the Rex website for news and information about our work, know that it is your support and involvement that makes everything possible.  If you can't join us for an upcoming event, check out the different ways you can support Rex and help us keep covering just a little more ground.  Thank you!

Michael Franti Receives the 2010 Ralph J. Gleason Award

The Rex Foundation is pleased to award the 2010 Ralph J. Gleason Award to Michael Franti. The $10,000 award is in memory of music journalist Ralph J. Gleason, a major figure in the advancement of music in America in the 1960s, including his being a long-time contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, a founding editor of Rolling Stone Magazine and cofounder of the Monterey Jazz Festival.   Mr. Gleason's openness to new music and ideas transcended differences between generations and styles.

A Bay Area native, Michael Franti has been bringing our world exceptionally powerful, deeply felt music under a variety of names and in a wide range of genres for twenty years, from the intense punk rock of the Beatnigs, to the deeply political rap he made with the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, to his joyful and meaningful modern soul music with Spearhead, and now as Michael Franti & Spearhead.

As Rosalie Howarth, Rex Board member and KFOG Show Host and Director of Special Programming, explains, "The Ralph J. Gleason award honors people who strive to bring fresh cultural ideas and music to the mainstream public. Through his positive, inclusive lyrics, and his personal visits to strife-ridden areas such as Iraq, Palestine and Israel, Michael has seen first-hand the effects of war. He has taken his music to the people on the street, and absorbed their cultural influences in return, bringing them back to share at his annual free 'Power to the Peaceful' festival in Golden Gate Park, and on the silver screen with his powerful documentary 'I Know I'm Not Alone'.  Michael's unfailing optimism toward the human spirit and his tireless effort to spread peace and multiculturalism make him a world citizen and highly deserving recipient of the Rex Foundation Ralph Gleason Award."

Learn more about Michael Franti and his contributions from the following links:

Michael Franti CARE Soles4Souls Power to the Peaceful Stay Human

Franti states, "It's a huge honor to be recognized by the Rex Foundation for this award.  Being a fan of the Grateful Dead I know the diversity of its community and share the vision of creating togetherness and acceptance through music.  My musical message is much the same: If we can bring people together through the one-ness of music, it gives a starting point to address the larger needs of our communities and the world.  I am excited that music plays a greater role in the lives of all of us than ever before and the encouragement of this award reaffirms my faith that my journey has been worth every precious step!"

Furthering what the Grateful Dead started 27 years ago, the Rex Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization, endeavors to fund grassroots programs that are often under the radar of larger funding entities, yet work in bold, innovative ways to carry out essential work toward a healthy environment, promotion of the arts, protection of indigenous cultures, assisting others less fortunate, building strong communities, and educating children and adults.  The Rex Foundation has distributed $8.6 million in grants to over 1,000 programs across the U.S. and internationally, while also carrying out fundraising initiatives that foster creativity and positive community connections.  Visit www.rexfoundation.org for a complete list of grantees and information about current initiatives.

The Wheel | A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia

On December 4th, the musicians bring us full circle in a tribute to Jerry Garcia's musical legacy. Join us as we come together to celebrate the music and where it will take us next.  Join the Rex Foundation for a one-of-a-kind evening to celebrate the music and the musicians, and to help us cover just a little more ground.

Set up in festive cabaret style with reserved seating on the floor, The Fillmore, with its beauty and iconic connection to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, sets the stage for this special occasion.  At the pre-concert reception, enjoy hearty finger foods and beverages as you reconnect with friends and family. Your generous reception/concert ticket purchase of $150 or $500, of which all but $70 is a charitable contribution, will fund Rex Foundation grant making, and you'll receive a print of the event poster designed by Cory and Catska Ench.

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In 1962, Jerry Garcia began playing the banjo and exploring bluegrass music, forming a band called the Hart Valley Drifters that included David Nelson on guitar. In 1964, Jerry and his pal Sandy Rothman packed up a tape recorder and took off for the American South on a bluegrass pilgrimage, especially wanting to see "Jim and Jesse" (McReynolds), of Dothan, Alabama. Jerry was delighted to see them perform and get Jesse's autograph, and he held Jesse's mandolin playing and music in high esteem for many years. Jim and Jesse went on to legendary status in the bluegrass world, with more than 45 years at the Grand Ole Opry, Grammy nominations and awards, and membership in any Hall of Fame that means anything to this music.

Meanwhile, in 1969, as the Grateful Dead released Aoxomoxoa, they also turned to their own musical roots. Jerry, wanting to play his new pedal steel guitar, reconnected with old friend John "Marmaduke" Dawson and with Nelson, forming New Riders of the Purple Sage. As the Grateful Dead continued to evolve, in 1973 he formed another bluegrass band, Old and in the Way, with David Grisman, John Kahn, Peter Rowan and Vassar Clements.

Fast forward to today: David Nelson and Friends fire up fans with their electric sounds, and the New Riders play their past favorites along with new songs written by David and Robert Hunter. Grammy Award winner and five-time Grammy nominee Peter Rowan is a bluegrass singer/songwriter whose career spans over five decades; his continuous stream of original recordings, collaborative projects and tours has garnered a devoted, international fan base.

Now Jesse has just released Songs of the Grateful Dead - A Tribute to Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter. Collaborating on this special album of 12 classic Dead songs, from Black Muddy River and Ripple to Franklin's Tower and Standing on the Moon, is none other than David Nelson. And, to top it off, there's a brand-new McReynolds-Hunter tune called Day by Day. Check out the music and get a sampling of Jesse McReynolds' talents here.

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Reception, Food and Premium Seating Concert Tickets

(All but $70 is tax deductible)

Includes Drinks, Hearty Finger Food and Event Poster

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Lightning: $500.00 - Reserved Front Floor Seating

Thunder: $150.00 - Reserved Floor Seats

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6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Reception

7:30 p.m. Doors Open for Concert

8:00 p.m. Music Begins

Reception/Concert Tickets available through the Rex Foundation website or call (415)-561-3135 and through GDTS,TOO

The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia

Save Saturday, December 4th to join the Rex Foundation at The Fillmore in San Francisco for a special night of music and connection: The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia.  Watch for the full announcement within the week, including ticket details.

There are also some great Rex Musical Caravan events taking place over the next few weeks in different cities that we hope you'll enjoy:

  • Saturday, October 23rd, The Kind Buds perform at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass. Click here for event details and more information about Bud & Budd, the talented artists.
  • Saturday, October 23rd, the Reflections Band performs at Mexi Cali Live in Teaneck, NJ, once again supporting the Rex Foundation while also treating fans to their great music. Check out the details.
  • Friday and Saturday, October 29th and 30th, The String Cheese Incident will play a two-day Hulaween celebration at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA, with proceeds supporting the Rex Foundation as well as Rex grantees HeadCount and the Conscious Alliance. Here are the details.

We thank all the talented musicians for their generosity of spirit by including Rex as a charitable part of their live performances.  We welcome musicians, venue operators and others in the musical community to get on board the Rex Musical Caravan to demonstrate how music and community spirit can make a positive difference.

Speaking of music and community spirit, Jam Cruise 9 is including the Rex Foundation as part of their January 4-9, 2011 excursion.  If you have considered taking this cruise, check out what's on deck and how you can help support Rex while also enjoying a music-centered vacation.

This message reflects the ever-growing network of supportive people like you who want to be part of our philanthropic community.  Together, we are furthering what the Grateful Dead started with our major areas of work including grassroots grants, Rex Awards, The World As It Could Be Project, and other creative endeavors including our newsletters that help engender positive social change and community engagement. You make the difference in advancing this work. Check out all the different ways you can help support Rex, even getting something in return besides the satisfaction of seeing all the good that results.

Steve Kimock Summer/Fall 2010 News

This weekend the Everyone Orchestra takes improvisation to the Rockies with a four night run beginning September 16 in Fort Collins, CO followed by three days in Denver @ Quixotes.

Conductor Matt Butler will facilitate the musical improvisation of an unrivaled all-star cast including Steve Kimock on guitar, Jeff Sipe (Leftover Salmon, Trey Anastasio Band) on drums, Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band) on trumpet and vocals, Trevor Garrod (Tea Leaf Green) on keys, Michael Kang (SCI) on violin and mandolin, Mike Sugar (Jambay) on bass, Chuck Morris (Lotus) on percussion and YOU.

How do YOU fit into the Everyone Orchestra?... An orchestra where everyone in the room takes part, the Everyone Orchestra brings together a spirit of musical improvisation that must be experienced to be believed!

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Kimock's on the boat as a special guest artist; hosting the Jam Room, playing with Everyone Orchestra and more...! We are thrilled to join Jam Cruise 9 and so many great musicians & friends onboard this musical adventure. Jam Cruise 9 sets sail January 4-9, 2011 on the beautiful Italian ship MSC Poesia leaving from Ft Lauderdale's Port Everglades and with stops in Roatan, Honduras & Costa Maya, Mexico.

Less than 75 cabins left! We want to make sure that our fans don't miss out on this epic adventure at sea. Hope to have you on board so visit JamCruise.com for up-to-date info, artists on board, and more!

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Marking the 15th Anniversary of his passing and as a way to honor Jerry Garcia's musical and community legacy, Kimock contributed a live performance of a Jerry Garcia song to Jerry Jams for Rex which will benefit the Rex Foundation.

Available now at Livedownloads.com, Jerry Jams for Rex includes Kimock's performance of Stella Blue from 12/18/09, along with four exclusive previously unreleased live Garcia songs from Phish, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, The String Cheese Incident and Keller Williams & The Keels. Other artists featured on the 12-track compilation include The Black Crowes, Yonder Mountain String Band and more. All proceeds are a contribution to the Rex Foundation, the Grateful Dead's charitable arm.

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Unfortunately, the workshops are already full, but look for more Steve Kimock workshops in 2011.

Kimock will lead several electric guitar workshops at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch from November 12-15, 2010. He is thrilled to participate in this special Hot Tuna All Star weekend!

For more info on Fur Peace visit the Fur Peace Ranch website.