Before he became a psychedelic icon, Jerry Garcia was a banjo-picking bluegrass fanatic. Jerry Garcia: A Bluegrass Journey will explore that early history when it opens at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum on March 28th, an occasion the Owensboro, KY institution will celebrate with a weekend of live music, documentary screenings, panel discussions, and more.

Set to run at the museum for two years, Jerry Garcia: A Bluegrass Journey will examine how Jerry’s bluegrass roots shaped the musician he ultimately became. The exhibit traces Garcia’s early affinity for bluegrass which inspired him to develop his skills as an ace banjo player, forming early groups like the Black Mountain Boys and the Hart Valley Drifters.

The exhibit also examines a fateful 1964 road trip that could have spelled the end of the Grateful Dead before the band ever even existed. Before the Acid Tests or the Summer of Love, Garcia and his friend Sandy Rothman loaded into Jerry’s Corvair and headed east. They set out to find the bluegrass contemporaries who are now considered pillars of the genre like Bill Monroe and the Osborne Brothers, but Garcia eventually felt homesick and returned to his beloved Bay Area. Once back in San Francisco, he formed Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, which became The Warlocks, and ultimately the Grateful Dead.

The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame utilizes rare artifacts including 12 of Garcia’s personal instruments, rare recordings, and more to construct a narrative in the 1,000-square-foot gallery. Historians also conducted over 20 new interviews to tell the story, conversing with David Nelson, Eric Thompson, Sandy Rothman, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Sara Ruppenthal Katz, Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia, Dennis McNally, Del McCoury, Billy Strings, Molly Tuttle, Sam Bush, Vince Herman, and more for a wide-ranging perspective of how Jerry has affected bluegrass through the decades.

For the exhibit’s opening weekend, the museum will bring Garcia’s influence to life with a loaded lineup of live performers. Leftover Salmon will serve as the house band and welcome Peter RowanDavid NelsonRonnie McCouryKyle Tuttle, and more throughout the weekend, in addition to performances by the Sam Grisman Project. Opening weekend will also include panel discussions featuring Sara Katz, Vince Herman, Rob Bleetstein, and more in addition to the weekend’s performers. Attendees can also tune in to screenings of the Garcia/David Grisman documentary Grateful Dawg, the Dead’s Long Strange Trip, and Festival Express.

Tickets for the opening weekend of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s Jerry Garcia: A Bluegrass Journey exhibit March 28th–30th are on sale here.