Critically acclaimed for the live embodiment of the Grateful Dead's music and spirit, Dark Star Orchestra is partnering with The Rex Foundation to personify another quintessential aspect of America's most-loved live band. With the 'DSO Rex Caravan Tour' Dark Star Orchestra is creating a model to further the Grateful Dead tradition started 24 years ago: tapping into the entire concert community of musicians, promoters, producers and fans to help the Rex Foundation support great grassroots programs across the U.S. and internationally.
Beginning with their performance at The Showbox Wednesday, September 26, and continuing through their entire month-long fall tour, Dark Star Orchestra will contribute $1 of each ticket sold to the Grateful Dead-founded Rex Foundation. DSO will also be providing a venue for Rex's 'Community Caravan,' a grassroots contribution campaign encouraging people to get involved with philanthropy through a donation of $5 or more.
In the fall of 1983, friends and members of the Grateful Dead established the Rex Foundation as a non-profit charitable organization that enabled them to proactively provide extensive community support to creative endeavors in the arts, sciences, and education. Since 1984 the Rex Foundation has granted $8.2 million to some 1,000 recipients. The Rex Foundation mission is to help secure a healthy environment, promote individuality in the arts, provide support to critical and necessary social services, assist others less fortunate than ourselves, protect the rights of indigenous people and ensure their cultural survival, build a stronger community, and educate children and adults everywhere.
The Rex Foundation launched its renewal in the absence of direct Grateful Dead concert funding 6 years ago, and DSO has been an avid supporter from the very beginning. They performed at Rex benefit fundraisers including the April 2002 event at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, a March 2004 inaugural 'Black Tie-Dye Ball' in Chicago, and an additional 'Black Tie-Dye Ball' in Washington, DC in December of 2005. This fall's DSO tour partners with The Rex Foundation, thereby bringing to life the Rex 'Community Caravan,' an ongoing philanthropic campaign connected by the music, creative spirit and care for the greater good.
Dark Star Orchestra performs Grateful Dead classics in the same way that an orchestra interprets music of classical composers. The composer spirit is derived and channeled in the live setting as the players capture the excitement and innovation of the original performances and compositions.
Touring nationwide for nearly 10 years, performing over 1400 shows since its formation, the band's determined commitment to 'raising the Dead' has drawn national media attention: Rolling Stone praises "Dark Star Orchestra's fanatical attention to detail." USA Today says DSO is "channeling the Dead" and the Washington Post declares them "the hottest Grateful Dead tribute act going." Dallas Morning News affirms DSO is "the next best thing to being there"; the Denver Post describes Dark Star Orchestra as "a perfection-oriented practitioner of homage" and the Associated Press notes that DSO "takes its act to a level of detail that befits a rock band famous for its fanatical following."
Critics aren't the only ones singing Dark Star Orchestra 's praises. Five original members of the Grateful Dead have played alongside DSO and have had this to say:
"A couple of times when I had my back to John (Kadlecik) onstage and he started to sing, I had this weird sense that it was Jerry." – Bob Weir, Grateful Dead co-founder/vocalist/guitarist
"Playing with Dark Star Orchestra is something that feels just exactly like it felt when I was playing with the Grateful Dead." – Donna Jean Godchaux, Grateful Dead vocalist.
Made up of Rob Barracco (multiple keyboardists), Rob Eaton (Bob Weir), Dino English (Bill Kreutzmann), John Kadlecik (Jerry Garcia), Rob Koritz (Mickey Hart), Lisa Mackey (Donna Jean Godchaux), and Kevin Rosen (Phil Lesh), Dark Star Orchestra does not try to match Grateful Dead live songs note for note. The band instead seeks the individual style for each era of its performances and offers its own interpretations and improvisations of a group also famed and loved for their interpretations and improvisation. Anything more formulaic would quickly dispel the free spirit embodied in the music.
Dark Star Orchestra isn't a cover band. Its shows are not even meant as tributes. What Dark Star Orchestra achieves is a continuation of the spirit of what has now become over forty years of the Grateful Dead's timeless music. Presently, on this tour to assist the Rex Foundation, DSO is carrying on the altruistic vision of the Grateful Dead as well and sharing the concept of community to future generations of Deadheads.
For sound clips, photos and detailed information on the Dark Star Orchestra, please visit www.darkstarorchestra.net. Further information regarding the Rex Foundation can be found at www.rexfoundation.org.
DSO Rex Caravan Tour:
Wed 9/26 - The Showbox -Seattle , WA
Thu 9/27 - Pantages Theater -Tacoma , WA
Fri 9/28 - Crystal Ballroom -Portland, OR
Sat 9/29 - Cuthbert Ampitheatre -Eugene, OR
Mon 10/1 - Arcata Community Center - Arcata, CA
Tue 10/2 - Crystal Bay Casino -Truckee, CA
Thu 10/4 - The Fillmore –San Francisco, CA
Fri 10/5 - The Fillmore -San Francisco, CA
Sat 10/6 - The Fillmore -San Francisco, CA
Tue 10/9 - Clark Center - Arroyo Grande, CA
Wed 10/10 - Belly Up Tavern -Solana Beach, CA
Thu 10/11 - Belly Up Tavern -Solana Beach, CA
Fri 10/12 - El Rey Theatre -Los Angeles, CA
Sat 10/13 - El Rey Theatre -Los Angeles, CA
Mon 10/15 - Marquee Theater - Tempe, AZ
Thu 10/18 - Boulder Theater - Boulder, CO
Fri 10/19 - The Oriental Theater - Denver, CO
Sat 10/20 - The Oriental Theater - Denver, CO