The late Jerry Garcia would have turned 72 on Aug. 1. Mirroring a countrywide trend, Western New York fans of the Grateful Dead’s unofficial leader, as well as musicians whose lives have been forever changed through full immersion in Garcia’s songwriting and playing, will celebrate the man’s birthday in the most appropriate fashion imaginable – by playing his music.
“Jerry Week” kicks off on Garcia’s birthday proper, with a pair of musical birthday parties. GD tribute band the Maniacs will be joined by guests Danny Lynn Wilson and Joe Bellanti for a program of Garcia/Dead music at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.).
Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.) welcomes Sonic Garden for twin sets of Garcia music, beginning at 10 p.m. Friday.
Sonic Garden will then headline “Dead Fest II,” at 2 p.m. Saturday at the campgrounds off of Blossom Lea Drive in Alden. The Intreprid Travelers and the Grateful Dans share the bill. Admission will be $15 at the gate; $5 for Alden residents. This will be a camping-friendly event.
Finally, on Aug. 9, “Jerry Week” will conclude with “Grapeful Getdown @ Willow Creek Winery.” Music for the all-day event at Willow Creek Winery (2627 Chapin Road, Silver Creek) will kick off at noon and continue throughout the early hours of Sunday.
Twin sets from Workingman’s Dead and Groove Force, a late-night set from Adam Bronstein and Paddy Donnelly performing as “Adam Bronstein & the Watchful Hosemasters,” and full sets from the Little Mountain Band, Sonic Garden, the Grateful Dans, Smiley & Friends and others, fill the schedule.
Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the gate and include camping on the Willow Creek grounds. They are available at Terrapin Station (1172 Hertel Ave.), Headin to Hertel (1251 Hertel Ave.), Picasso Moon (260 Allen St.) and via Ticketfly.com.