Musicians on a Mission announces Jerry Garcia celebration concert

Musicians on a Mission and the Jerry Garcia Foundation have announced the second annual Jerry Garcia Birthday Celebration concert for Saturday, August 26th. The event will celebrate the music of Garcia at the historic Strand Theater in Lakewood, NJ.

Guest artists from around the United States will be participating. One of the evening’s featured performers is up-and-coming music sensation EmiSunshine, the 13-year-old prodigy from East Tennessee who has captured the nation’s attention and enchanted many with her musical gifts.

California native singer/songwriter Greg Winser will also headline the benefit, sharing his original blend of homegrown music. Local artists Mark Diomede and Sandy Mack will entertain the audience, along with Waynard Scheller and Rainbow Full of Sound.

A special reunion of the Jerry Garcia-Merl Saunders Band rhythm section, featuring Bob Steeler on percussion and Merl Saunders’s son Tony Saunders on bass. Mr. Steeler was a member of Hot Tuna during its power trio years in the 1970s. Mr. Saunders performed with the Saunders/Garcia Band and, according to his website, “graduated from the prestigious Conservatory of Music in San Francisco as a piano player, but soon after began honing his skills on the bass. He was influenced by the sounds of James Jamison, Stanley Clark, Jack Cassidy and others.”

“It’s wonderful that Jerry’s art and music continue to inspire new creativity.”

“We are very grateful to Musicians on a Mission and to all of the gifted musicians coming together to share their artistry in honor of my father,” says Keelin Garcia, co-founder of the Jerry Garcia Foundation.

In addition, the Jerry Garcia Foundation will present a collective art project during the concert’s pre-show reception at 7 pm. Audience members will be invited to color a giant coloring book page image of Jerry Garcia’s painting titled Seascape. The work will be added to a digital art collage presented in a visual light show at an upcoming ocean conservation benefit concert presented by the foundation later this year.

“It’s wonderful that Jerry’s art and music continue to inspire new creativity. It speaks to the visionary spirit that is still very present,” says Manasha Garcia, co-founder of the foundation.

Jerry Garcia’s fine art will be offered to the public at a raffle. The three museum-quality pieces are titled Bluegrass Musician, Wetlands ll, and Wisteria. The Main Stage concert will be general admission and begin at 8 pm. Tickets are $18 (plus a $6 convenience fee) and are available at the Strand’s website event page.

Music lineup is subject to change.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: