Skip to main content

Dark Star's John Kadlecik forming new band with Phil Lesh and Bob Weir

  • Dark Star Orchestra will be performing at Penn's Peak on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Opening will be the Donna Jean Godchaux Band.
    Dark Star Orchestra will be performing at Penn's Peak on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Opening will be the Donna Jean Godchaux Band.
Published October 22. 2009 05:00PM

On Wednesday, Nov. 25, Dark Star Orchestra presents its critically acclaimed live performance at Penn's Peak.

The announcement comes with the additional news that DSO's John Kadlecik (who performs Jerry Garcia's roles for the band) will join Grateful Dead founders Phil Lesh and Bob Weir in their new project, Furthur.

More information and tour dates can be found at

Opening for Dark Star will be The Donna Jean Godchaux Band.

Of course, this is not the first chance for someone from Dark Star Orchestra to perform alongside original members of The Grateful Dead. Five original members of The Grateful Dead have already performed with DSO and have this to say about their experience:

"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, frequent DSO guest

"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, frequent DSO guest.

Continuing a long and strange trip started more then 1,700 shows and over a decade ago, Dark Star's determined commitment to 'raising the Dead' has drawn nationwide attention.

Offering a continually evolving artistic outlet within the Grateful Dead's musical canon, members of Dark Star Orchestra seek out the unique style of each performance era and offer their own interpretations and improvisations at each show.

Using entire set lists from the Grateful Dead's decades of touring as a launching pad, Dark Star Orchestra recreates song for song performances straight from the set list of these historic shows.

Made up of Kadlecik (Jerry Garcia), Lisa Mackey (Donna Jean Godchaux), Dino English (Bill Kreutzmann), Rob Koritz (Mickey Hart), Kevin Rosen (Phil Lesh), Rob Eaton (Bob Weir) and Rob Barraco (multiple keyboardists), Dark Star Orchestra does not try to match Grateful Dead live songs note for note. Anything so formulaic would quickly dispel the free spirit embodied in the music.

While faithful improvisation is pinnacle, precision is of equal importance with DSO, which position the stage plot based on the year of Grateful Dead show to be performed, adapting phrasing, voice arrangements, and even arranges specific musical equipment for the various eras of Dead music performed.

At the end of each performance, the band announces the date and venue where the original show just covered took place.

Dark Star Orchestra dips into every incarnation of the Dead, so most fans can "see" shows that happened long before they were born.

Dark Star Orchestra isn't a cover band. Its shows are not even meant as tributes. What Dark Star Orchestra tirelessly strives for and achieves is a continuation of the spirit of what has now become over forty years of the Grateful Dead's timeless music.

For more sound clips, photos, interview requests and any further information on Dark Star Orchestra, please visit

Classified Ads

Event Calendar


November 2017


Twitter Feed

Reader Photo Galleries