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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.

Brand New Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction (Phish, SCI)

The Mimi Fishman Foundation just launched a new charity auction.

The on-line auction is currently live with the bidding coming to close on Sunday, February 27.

The auction features posters from the 2010 Phish Fall tour as well as their New Years run. All the posters are numbered and have been signed by all members of Phish. In addition the auction features two String Cheese Incident 2011 Winter Carnival packages which include tickets to all three SCI March 2011 shows as well as a signed poster from the band.

To view and/or bid on the auction, as well as read about the charities the auction supports, please visit the Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction Page.

Al Bell gets Grammy Trustees Award

The Memphis Music Foundation and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, located at the original site of Stax Records, proudly congratulate Al Bell on receiving the highest honor the music industry offers, the 2011 Grammy Trustees Award, given by the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy. Bell now joins the pantheon of musical icons who have received the prestigious honor, including the Beatles, Walt Disney, George and Ira Gershwin, Berry Gordy, Duke Ellington, and Stax Records’ co-founder Estelle Axton.

For Bell, the honor represents a milestone in his lifetime love of music and work in the industry.

“The phone call I received from Neil Portnow, president of NARAS’ Grammy Foundation, letting me know that I was going to be a recipient of the Trustees Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Bell, “was both humbling and honoring. This is the most meaningful recognition I could have ever hoped to achieve from my industry. I sincerely thank NARAS and the Grammy Foundation for honoring me with their highest award.”

In 1965, a young radio disc jockey from Brinkley, Arkansas named Alvertis Isbell joined a fledging record company in Memphis, Tennessee to help promote the music it was churning out in an old converted movie theater. That small label was Stax Records and Al Bell became known to be one of the driving forces who helped change music history. Decades later, in 2009, he became the chairman of the board of directors of the Memphis Music Foundation (MMF), the main organization charged with promoting the city’s musical legacy, current artists, and future plans.

“This is great news for Al Bell and Memphis Music,” said Dean Deyo, president of the Memphis Music Foundation. “Al started developing young artists during his Stax days over 40 years ago and continues to nurture artist development as chairman of the Memphis Music Foundation.  Memphis music is something very special and one of the main reasons for its success has been Al Bell.  It just may be a bit early to give him a Lifetime Achievement Award, because he is not done yet.  Al Bell is just getting started.”

Kirk Whalum, internationally renowned musician and 12-time Grammy nominee, now CEO for the Soulsville Foundation in Memphis, which includes the Stax Museum, Stax Music Academy and The Soulsville Charter School, explains, “There's a very good reason that the name Al Bell is mentioned, the voice of Al Bell is heard, and the handsome and distinguished face of Al Bell is seen more than any other name, voice, and face in the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. It's because of his body of work. Yes he remains a creative, viable, and avant-garde force in the industry. But who wouldn't give a limb to have all his ‘firsts’ and accomplishments in one’s rearview mirror?”

From 1965 until the company was forced into involuntary bankruptcy in 1975, Bell helped build Stax Records into one of the most influential labels in the world, working with artists such as Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Johnnie Taylor, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & the MGs, the Bar Kays, Richard Pryor, and a host of others. He also produced and wrote such hits as the Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There.”  When Bell owned Stax in the 1970s, it was the second-largest African-American owned business in the United States. After the company’s demise, he went on to serve as president of Motown Records Group, and later started his own Bellmark Records label, releasing Prince’s top-selling song ever, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” and Tag Team’s multi-platinum hit “Whoomp! (There It is),” one of the best-selling rap singles in history. Bell now operates his own web-based music channel, AlBellPresents.com.

For Isbell, given the name Al Bell in 1957 as radio announcer in Little Rock, Arkansas,  whose famous radio sign-on was “This is your 6-feet-4 bundle of joy, 212 pounds of Mrs. Bell’s baby boy, soft as medicated cotton, rich as double-X cream, the women’s pet, the men’s threat, the play boys pride and joy, the baby boy Al Bell,” — the Grammy Award not only marks his lifetime of work in the music industry, but also gives more fuel to what he plans to do now and in the future.

“When Mr. Portnow said ‘Lifetime Achievement Award,” Bell continues, “I didn’t think about my past. It sounded prophetic. Because what has happened to me is that I’ve begun to pursue that which I have learned in life and I’m about the business of achieving it. It’s a beginning for me. With this award and through my role with the Memphis Music Foundation, I am beginning my lifetime evolvement and development in the recorded music industry.”

Todd Snider & Great American Taxi @ Boulder Theater

Mark Vann's spirit parted company with his body on March 4, 2002. Mark consistently lived by the motto of "Go Big!". He applied this motto to both playing music and his unending willingness to offer his time and knowledge to teach anybody who wanted to learn. He encouraged others to "Dream Big", "Go Big", and "Pick Big", and personally supported their efforts to do so. The sun rose on March 5th to the task of shining light into a newly empty space in our many worlds.

The Mark Vann Foundation was created to continue the spirit of joy, gratitude, and generosity that Mark brought to our collective communities through his life and music.

Our primary mission is to serve community based non-profit organizations bringing light, love and laughter into the lives of those in need through nature, music and the arts; and to provide a conduit for kindhearted people with similar values to nurture impactful positive change within their own communities.

The Mark Vann Foundation is supported entirely by volunteer efforts and has no paid employees. It is managed in such a way as to maximize our ability to support beneficiaries by keeping operating costs to a minimum. We warmly welcome all who would like to participate, volunteer, or contribute, and kindly thank the many of you throughout the music community who already have.

Marching forth to help dreams "Go Big!"

More Info / Buy Tickets

Phish New Years Eve Tixs up for Auction!

For the 3rd time in 2010, the Mimi Fishman Foundation and the WaterWheel Foundation have teamed together with an on-line charity auction.

The auction features many Phish items including ticket packages to both stops on its upcoming New Years tour. Signed Phish posters from 2010 Summer/Falls shows are also featured on the auction. In addition, both Yonder Mountain String Band and Umphrey’s McGee have donated New Years Ticket/Poster packages to the auction.

These would make great holiday gifts for yourself, or others!!

The on-line auction is currently live with the bidding coming to close on Wednesday, Dec 1.

To view and/or bid on the auction, as well as read about the charities the auction supports, please visit the Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction Page.

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In addition the Foundation has announced donations recently made.

$750 to Capital City Youth Services
$1,000 to Rainbows for Kids
$1,250 to Burlington's Women Helping Battered Women
$1,250 to Lake Champlain Land Trust
$1,250 to Peopleplace
$2,500 to Lincolnville Central School
$10,000 to The Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments
$20,600 to The WaterWheel Foundation (includes donations made directly to WaterWheel from the auction winners)

To date the grand total has now surpassed $422,000  A huge thanks to everyone for their amazing support!!!

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

Great American Taxi announces Boulder charity event

Great American Taxi will host a night of music at the historic Boulder Theater here to raise money for the Mark Vann Foundation charity.  In its eighth year running, the holiday benefit concert this year includes Great American Taxi, Todd Snider, Bill McKay Band, Bonfire Dub, Shannon McNally & Hot Sauce and others.

“It’s our own little way of keeping alive and nurturing the joyous spirit of Mark Vann,” said Chad Staehly, executive director of the foundation and keyboardist/singer for Great American Taxi. Vann, the banjo player for the Boulder-based band Leftover Salmon, died in 2002; the foundation in his name assists various nonprofit groups.

This year funds will directly benefit There With Care and CareConnect.  Previous beneficiaries include Rock-the-Earth, The Rex Foundation, Tipitinas Foundation Artist Relief Fund, ConservationValue, Community Food Share (Boulder & Broomfield Counties' Food Bank), The Music Maker Relief Foundation, The Van Go Mobile Arts Project and JAMS, and the Steam Powered Preservation Society.

The evening also includes an art exhibit and silent auction. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20. People are encouraged to wear a fun or favorite hat.

Great American Taxi, revered as one of the most energetic country-, rock- and bluegrass-influenced Americana bands in the land, is currently in the midst of its Fall Harvest tour, playing with some of the most innovative and acclaimed players currently on the jamband/newgrass and Americana scenes.

Taxi’s latest CD release, Reckless Habits, remains active on both the Jambands.com radio chart and the Colorado radio chart, complemented by two months in the Top 25 on the Americana radio chart.


GREAT AMERICAN TAXI ON THE ROAD, 2010

Wed., Oct. 27  FORT COLLINS, CO w/Oakhurst
Fri., Oct. 29  ENGLEWOOD, CO Gothic Theatre w/Todd Snider and Drew Emmitt Band
Sat., Oct. 30   DENVER, CO Fillmore Auditorium w/Leftover Salmon and Todd Snider
Sun., Oct. 31   AVON, CO Agave
Tue., Nov. 2   BILLINGS, MT Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.
Wed., Nov. 3   LIVINGSTON, MT The Mint
Thurs., Nov. 4   MISSOULA, MT Top Hat
Fri., Nov. 5   PORTLAND, OR Mt. Tabor Theater
Sat., Nov. 6   BEND, OR Silver Moon Brewing Co.
Sun., Nov. 7  EUGENE, OR w/Emmit-Nershi Band
Tue., Nov. 9   APPLEGATE, OR Applegate Lodge
Wed., Nov. 10   ARCATA, CA Humbrews
Thurs., Nov. 11   BERKELEY, CA Ashkenaz w/David Nelson Band
Fri., Nov. 12   SEBASTOPOL, CA Hopmonk Tavern w/David Nelson Band
Sat., Nov. 13   SANTA CRUZ, CA Moe’s Alley w/the Down Beets
Sun., Nov. 14   UKIAH, CA Nelson Family Vineyards w/David Nelson Band

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.