Melvin Seals

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Melvin Seals
Seals in concert in 2005
Seals in concert in 2005
Background information
Born (1953-09-27) September 27, 1953 (age 69)
OriginSan Francisco, California, U.S.
GenresRock, jam, jazz
Instrument(s)Vocals, piano, organ
Years active1970s-present

Melvin Seals (born 1953 in San Francisco, California)[1] is an American musician, best known as a longtime member of the Jerry Garcia Band.

Early life and career[edit]

Melvin Seals began playing piano at age eight and began his musical adventure playing gospel music for his local church. Over the next years he joined a few different bands in San Francisco and became good at playing other keyboards, particularly the electric organ, which he would play for the majority of his musical career. He went on to record and perform with artists such as Charlie Daniels, Elvin Bishop and Chuck Berry.[2]


In 1980 Melvin Seals joined the Jerry Garcia Band and remained a member until Jerry Garcia's death in 1995.[3] He had the third-longest tenure in the band next to Garcia and bassist John Kahn, who had been members for the band's entire history. After Garcia and Kahn's deaths in 1995 and 1996 respectively, Seals formed JGB which he performs with to this day. JGB aims to continue the Jerry Garcia Band’s legacy beyond the loss of some of its key members.[4]

Other projects Seals has been involved in include The Mix with guitarist John Kadlecik and bassist Kevin Rosen[5] and Steve Kimock's Crazy Engine with Steve Kimock. The original idea for the project was to perform original material.[6]

On July 30, 2004, Seals was the first Jerry Garcia Band member to headline an outdoor music and camping festival named in honor of Jerry Garcia, called Grateful Garcia Gathering. Melvin Seals and JGB members that year included Stu Allen and John Kadlecik. Jerry Garcia Band drummer David Kemper joined Melvin Seals & JGB in 2007. To date, other musicians/friends of Jerry's have included Donna Jean, Mookie Siegel, Pete Sears, G. E. Smith, Barry Sless, Mark Karan, Mike Lawson, Dave Hebert Brian Lesh to name a few musicians.

In 2005 Seals released his first solo CD entitled Melting Pot.[7]

Seals played two concerts with Phil Lesh & Friends at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York on May 28 and 29, 2016. This marked Seals' first collaboration with Phil Lesh & Friends. Seals had previously only played with Lesh at two Jerry Garcia Band concerts in the 1980s when Lesh sat in for their regular bassist John Kahn.[8]

In 2017 Seals toured with Oteil Burbridge on his Oteil & Friends tour, which extended into early 2018.[9]



  1. ^ "Grateful Dead News: Melvin Keeps on Truckin'".
  2. ^ "Melvin Seals".
  3. ^ Budnick, Dean (August 4, 2020). "Deadicated: Melvin Seals on Jerry Garcia's "Magic Band," Collaborating with Clarence Clemons". Relix. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  4. ^
  5. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Greenhaus, Mike
  7. ^ "Melvin Seals discography - RYM/Sonemic".
  8. ^ "Phil Lesh & Friends to Return to Capitol Theatre for May Shows".
  9. ^

External links[edit]