On Friday, February 1st, singer Gloria Jones, longtime backup vocalist for the Jerry Garcia Band, passed away. Jones originally joined up with Jerry Garcia Band in 1984, and she and fellow backup singer Jacklyn LaBranch went on to be the band’s gospel-tinged secret weapons through Garcia’s death in 1995. Jones continued to work with JGB organist Melvin Seals over the years since then, participating in various post-Jerry celebrations of the band’s music.

As Melvin Seals notes in a Facebook post remembering Jones,

It’s so sad to hear that Gloria Jones has passed away. She was a wonderful soul and I feel blessed she was my friend and bandmate. The countless hours we spent together on stage, in rehearsals, on the road and off…I have so many wonderful memories.

I started with Jerry in 1980 and we decided to add vocalists. In 1984, Gloria Jones joined and the sweet sounds of Jaclyn LaBranch and Gloria Jones lifted us up, always. Love you Gloria. RIP.

Gloria Jones recently performed with the Jerry Garcia Birthday Band (alongside Oteil BurbridgeTom HamiltonDuane TrucksMelvin Seals and her JGB backup vocal counterpart Jacklyn LaBranch) for a series of shows in honor of Garcia’s memory. You can watch the all-star band perform “Don’t Let Go” and “Tangled Up In Blue” at their August 2018 performance at Mighty High in Vail, CO below:

Jerry Garcia Birthday Band – “Don’t Let Go”, “Tangled Up In Blue” – August 2018

[Video: Jerry Garcia]

Rest in peace, Gloria Jones. Thank you for sharing your soul with the world.

Jerry Garcia Band – “I Shall Be Released”

[Video: bigbeahner]