All Graceful Instruments is a day-long interdisciplinary symposium celebrating the study of the Grateful Dead. With discussions led by Peter Shapiro (Brooklyn Bowl, Relix, Fare Thee Well, the Capitol Theatre), Jay Blakesberg (Photographer, Filmmaker), Rhoney Stanley (Woman’s Visionary Council/Holistic Orthodontist/Author), and several other living experts in the band’s history, the interdisciplinary symposium on the Grateful Dead is set to take place Friday, June 23, from 10AM to 7PM in New York City. Hosted by the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study at The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts, the event also includes an acoustic performance by the Stella Blue’s Band.

Formed in the Bay Area in 1965, the Grateful Dead produced a remarkable body of work and spawned a vibrant and fascinating cultural phenomenon. Although the group disbanded in 1995 following the death of lead guitarist/vocalist Jerry Garcia, the music lives on in performances by the remaining members and in a widening circle of bands steeped in the style and repertoire, supported by a thriving subcultural community. The band’s history and example have made them avatars for a tremendously variegated fanbase, from itinerant vendors to senators, inspiring Deadheads to seek alternatives, be open to adventure, and share in discovery. Beginning in 1966, the Dead attracted academics, and by the 1980s both the band and its followers were the subject of scholarship in more than a dozen disciplines. That bibliography has grown to become the most interdisciplinary and one of the most extensive in popular music.

All Graceful Instruments promises to explore the kaleidoscopic array of the scholarly engagement and commitment inspired by the Grateful Dead phenomenon. More information can be found here.

All Graceful Instruments Participants:
Peter Shapiro (Brooklyn Bowl, Relix, Fare Thee Well, the Capitol Theatre)
Jay Blakesberg (Photographer, Filmmaker)
Rhoney Stanley (Woman’s Visionary Council/Holistic Orthodontist/Author)
Nicholas G. Meriwether (Scholar/Archivist)
Steve Liesman (CNBC, Stella Blue’s Band)
Shaugn O’Donnell (City College)
Ken Aigen (NYU, Stella Blue’s Band)
Susan Balter-Reitz (Montana State University)
Jesse Jarnow (WFMU, Music Journalist)
Mike Greenhaus (Relix)
Mark Mattson (Fordham University)