Melvin Seals Performs At Telluride's Opera House, 3/11

Jerry Garcia nicknamed him "Master of the Universe." The Hammond B-3 Organ is his weapon of choice; his wizardry on the instrument, the stuff of legend. This week Melvin Seals & Second to None are everywhere you want to be in the Telluride region. Musically speaking, the sky's the limit.

Thursday, March 11, 8 p.m., Seals performs in town at Telluride's historic Sheridan Opera House. Saturday, March 13, Second to None heads up the hill to the Telluride Conference Center in the Mountain Village, where the group is the entertainment for the Telluride Medical Center's annual F.E.A.S.T. (Fund for Expanding And Supporting Telluride’s Medical Center), a fundraiser, this year to help support the Telluride Medical Center Emergency room renovation.

Melvin Seals is best known for his enduring friendship and musical partnership with cultural icon Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead –  and a smile as wide and open as the vistas of the Southwest. Both the smile and his music light up a room. Seals has an established reputation as a recording artist, producer, and record company executive, who serves up a tasty blend of blues to rock to jazz, with a little R & B and gospel thrown in for spice. With Second to None, Seals is solidly into funk, a made-in-America genre that originated in the late 1960s when African-American musicians blended soul, jazz and r&B and came up with a sole – or soul – shaking new form of danceable sounds.

Seals first took up piano at age eight. His first public appearances were playing gospel music in church. His first band, "Gideon & Power," was based in San Francisco, but the Bay Area was too small for a talent that large. Seals went on to perform and record with with Elvin Bishop, Charlie Daniels, Chuck Berry – and for 18 years, with Jerry Garcia, helping to define what has now become Jam Band music. A year after Garcia's death, he formed JGB and was originally joined by Gloria Jones and Jackie Labranch, Garcia’s background singers. After touring steadily into the late 1990s, Melvin Seals Melting Pot, his first solo CD, sent the performer into the new millenium.

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