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Melvin Seals has been a powerful presence in the music industry for over 30 years with a long-established reputation as a performer, recording artist and producer. Melvin is most revered for his powerful, high-spirited, Hammond B-3 organ, and keyboards in the Jerry Garcia Band. Melvin spun his B-3 magic with the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years and in doing so helped pioneer and define what has now become “Jam Band Music”. From blues to funk to rock to jazz, Melvin Seals serves up a tasty mix with a little R&B and gospel thrown in to spice things up.
Terrapin Flyer began in 1999 as the house band for the Sunday Grateful Dead Jam at the Boulevard Cafe in Chicago. Through the many associations developed there and many that have continued since, the band has grown into one of the premier Grateful Dead inspired touring acts in the nation. The band draws from the a variety of skilled musicians including Grateful Dead keyboardists Tom Constanten, Bob Bralove and Vince Welnick (RIP). They also tour with Jerry Garcia Band organist Melvin Seals and Ratdog guitarist Mark Karan. Additionally, they have done one off shows with guest musicians such as grammy award winning blues harpist Sugar Blue, guitar prodigy Fareed Haque, Furthur guitarist John Kadlecik and musician, songwriter and music journalist David Gans. The band has headlined major festivals and prominent venues across the nation.
From the band’s humble beginnings sprang forth an ever growing network of musicians. From a loosely associated group of musicians at a jam night, a band began to develop. The original band came into fruition when they were asked to perform with Grateful Dead keyboardist (1990-1995) Vince Welnick on a cable access television show and festival in Madison, WI. After that the band continued to tour with Welnick and performed several times as “Vince Welnick and Friends including headlining the 2004 Dunegrass Festival in Empire, MI to several thousand in attendance. After several tours with Vince Welnick, the band was ready to move on to its next potent association.
Today Terrapin Flyer performs with a lineup that continues to bring in new guest musicians, nationally recognized artists and mix up various members from its history to create new and intriguing musical dynamics to each show performed. Other members of the band include current and former members of Cornmeal Wavy Dave Burligame, Kris Nowak and JP Nowak. Jimmy Tebeau and Dave Hebert from Melvin Seals JGB and many other prominent players in the Grateful Dead extended family.