Jazz Is Dead

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Jazz Is Dead
GenresRock, Jazz
Years active1998-2006, 2015-present
MembersAlphonso Johnson
Rod Morgenstein
Jeff Pevar
Chris Smith
Tom Constanten
Past membersBilly Cobham
Jimmy Herring
T Lavitz
Jeff Sipe
Kenny Gradney
Dave Livolsi

Jazz is Dead is an instrumental Grateful Dead cover band that interprets classic Dead songs with jazz influences.[1] The group is notable in featuring veterans of jazz and jazz fusion ensembles.[2] The group's composition has changed over time, and T Lavitz was the band's only constant member until they reformed in 2015 (five years after Lavitz's death).

In March 2006 the band set out for a month-long tour featuring the music of Blues for Allah to coincide with its 30th anniversary.



Current members
Former members


1998 – 1999
1999 – 2001
  • Jimmy Herring – lead guitar
  • Alphonso Johnson – bass
  • T Lavitz – keyboards
  • Rod Morgenstein – drums
  • Jeff Sipe – drums
2001 – 2002
  • T Lavitz – keyboards
  • Rod Morgenstein – drums
  • Jeff Sipe – drums
  • Jeff Pevar – lead guitar
  • Kenny Gradney – bass
2002 – 2006
  • T Lavitz – keyboards
  • Rod Morgenstein – drums
  • Jeff Sipe – drums
  • Jeff Pevar – lead guitar
  • Dave Livolsi – bass
2006 – 2015

Band Split

2015 – present
  • Rod Morgenstein – drums
  • Jeff Pevar – lead guitar
  • Alphonso Johnson – bass
  • Tom Constanten – keyboards
  • Chris Smith – keyboards

The band's original line-up consisted of:

In 1999 Billy Cobham was replaced by Dixie Dregs and Winger drummer Rod Morgenstein and Phil Lesh and Friends drummer Jeff Sipe.

In 2001, guitarist Jeff Pevar (Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills & Nash) replaced Jimmy Herring. Little Feat's Kenny Gradney also played bass with the group at some shows.

The group went through a few more line-up changes (mostly bassists and drummers) over the years including the addition of Dave Livolsi on bass in 2002 and the reinstated dual-drummer line-up of Sipe and Morgenstein in 2006.

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Grateful Dead, Jazz Is Dead reformed for several shows in August and September 2015. The lineup will include Alphonso Johnson on bass, Jeff Pevar on guitar, drummer Rod Morgenstein, keyboardist Chris Smith and one-time Grateful Dead pianist Tom Constanten.

In 2015 the group released the latest JID CD Grateful Jazz, produced and arranged by Pevar, featuring T Lavitz, Jeff Pevar, Rod Morgenstein, David Livolsi and special guests, Alphonso Johnson, Luis Conte, Bill Evans, Jerry Goodman, Bill Holloman and Howard Levy. This CD serves as a swan song to the late T Lavitz. More info at http://pevar.com/music/jazzisdead-gratefuljazz/



  1. ^ Considine, J.D. (January 29, 1998). "Jazz is Dead, fans are grateful". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 11, 2012. (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Jazz Is Dead: Biography". Allmusic.com. Retrieved December 11, 2012.

(subscription required)

External links[edit]

  • [1] – Interview with Billy Cobham about the origins and approach of Jazz is Dead
  • [2] – Interview with Jeff Pevar about Jazz is Dead
  • [3] – Allmusic Guide's review of Jazz is Dead releases