The Garcia Project is a touring band that some may not have heard of yet, but they’ve been on tour across the country for many years, selling out venues from The Sweetwater Music Hall in Jerry’s hometown, to places like The Key West Theater in Key West Florida, and even the 1200 capacity Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in Wilmington, NC.
The band started out in 2010 performing the musical catalog of the late Jerry Garcia, choosing mostly songs from the Jerry Garcia Band. The initial mission was to keep these songs remembered and alive, and not lost among the already widely covered Grateful Dead repertoire of songs. Soon after, the band was performing full, classic set lists and recreating actual Jerry Garcia Band shows.
“Jerry wrote the best set lists. He knew how to bring us on a journey, with just the right ebb and flow of the songs, perfectly orchestrated together.” - Kat Walkerson
Using the proper arrangements, amps, speakers, guitars, vocals and sounds, they channel the true spirit of what the Jerry Band was from 1976 through 1995. And much like early Jerry band, they fly under the radar and are completely a grass-roots team of folks that are on a mission.
The band has been blessed on its mission by a handful of very kind supporters. One of the keys to the sound is using the proper guitars for the various eras.
Andy Logan, new owner of Jerry’s Alligator guitar and president of Grateful Guitars Foundation said this about the band, “These players really get the soul of JGB, so If you love the music or are curious, come check them out!”
In 2017, Andy gifted guitarist Mik Bondy of The Garcia Project a custom made “Tiger” replica guitar. Matched in every way to Jerry’s Tiger, this stunning instrument in Mik’s hands, along with Mik’s hand built, replica amps and speakers, helped to provide the sonic landscape for recreating the 80’s and 90’s Jerry tones. That same year, Andy surprised Mik with a second gift of a Travis Bean guitar to capture the 1976-77 tonal shapes of Jerry Garcia. In 2023, Andy gave Mik and the band a personal gift of a beautiful “Wolf” replica to add to the late 1977-1978 sounds.
“This whole adventure and mission of the band is to bring some joy to people and to help keep the vibes flowing that we all enjoyed while being at a Jerry Garcia Band show.” - Mik Bondy
An equal amount of priority is put into recreating the vocals sounds as is put into the instrumental sounds recreation. Kat Walkerson, vocalist, adds so much heart and soul to the music. Her vocal presence, energy, and vibe on stage provides a magical element to the music. Kat and Mik are joined by a third vocalist, Dave Alderman to create that signature 80’s and 90’s vocal sound of Jerry singing with vocalists Gloria Jones and Jacklyn LaBranch. Dave also covers the lesser known and heard, Keith Godchaux harmonies from the 70’s JGB. Jacklyn Labranch herself, has also recently joined Kat and The Garcia Project on vocals to recreate some special 1990 shows for the fans.
Maria Muldaur, who sang on the “Cats Under The Stars” album and was a member of Jerry’s touring band in 1977-1978, has performed with The Garcia Project many times, to recreate classic 1978 shows. She said this about The Garcia Project:
“They don't merely recreate Jerry's music, as far as I'm concerned, they are channeling it. Performing with them, I am moved and touched by how much the music moves the audience
into a state of joyous community and rapture. The Garcia Project brings us all back to that special time and I'm excited and blessed to participate in giving new and old audiences alike, the chance to relive the Spirit & Magic of the Jerry Garcia Band.”
Bassist Dan Crea has recreated John Kahn’s signature basses, amps and speakers as well to round out the bottom end of the sonic landscape. Along with drummer Jack Betzen, they work hard to recreate that tight and beautiful rhythm section from Jerry’s bands. Keyboardists Kris Yunker and Elliot Jackson Rauch perform both the Keith Godchaux CP70 piano parts and the later Melvin Seals growling and churchy authentic Hammond organ sounds with The Garcia Project’s vintage keyboard gear.
The Garcia Project’s spring tour started on the west coast in March of 2023, and featured shows with Jerry Garcia’s bandmates Maria Muldaur and Buzz Buchanan. The band is firing on all cylinders and making the fans that want to relive the many classic Jerry Garcia Band shows very happy.
Don’t miss your chance to catch The Garcia Project on Spring Tour 2023 as they perform a different classic Jerry Garcia Band show recreation each night!
April 19 - So Many Roads, Denver, CO
April 20 - So Many Roads, Denver, CO
April 21 - Wibby Brewing, Longmont, CO
April 22 - Wibby Brewing, Longmont, CO
April 26 - KnuckleHeads, Kansas City, MO
April 28 - Nineteen North, Washington, PA
April 29 - The Woodlands, Columbus, OH
May 2 - The Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
May 4 - Buffalo Iron Works, Buffalo, NY
May 5 - The Stone Church, Brattleboro, VT
May 6 - Natick Center For The Arts, Natick, MA
May 19 - Broadbrook Opera House, Broadbrook, CT
May 20 - Broadbrook Opera House, Broadbrook, CT
Tickets and more information can be found here: www.thegarciaproject.com/tour-dates