With the project’s official debut just days away, guitarist Stanley Jordan has shared a first preview of what to expect from his new jazz-influenced Grateful Dead tribute, Stanley Plays The Dead, with an in-studio performance of “Eyes of the World”.

The quartet featuring Jordan along with drummer Kenwood Dennard (Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock), bassist Greg Koerner (Vince Welnick, Crimson Rose), and keyboardist/guitarist Jesse Hiatt (Cedric Burnside) is gearing up for a pair of shows at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C on April 4th and 5th. They also have a show at Kennedy Plaza Boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ on July 10th.

In the newly shared footage, the band offers a peak at its “cosmic variations” on Grateful Dead songs, showcasing Jordan’s unique finger-tapping technique in the context of a familiar Dead classic. The song also features Jesse Hiatt on lead vocals.

Known for his eclectic style and distinctive playing, Jordan has become a frequent collaborator of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, often playing with his rotating Phil Lesh & Friends ensemble.

“Since I’ve been playing with Phil a lot of his fans have started coming to my shows. I wanted to reward them with something that I knew they would like. I also wanted to bring new people in to share in the spirit of openness and belongingness that this music brings about,” Jordan said of the new project.

“There’s something to be said for carrying the energy by direct transmission. And over the years, getting to know and play with Phil has been very enriching. Many things that he’s said have helped me to understand this music in a deeper way. For example he once told me, ‘If you want to understand the Grateful Dead’s music just think Dixieland. Each instrument is doing something completely different but it all fits together.’ Wow, that was a revelation! From there I began to approach my role in a more melodic way and to not fixate so much on the chords.”

Watch Stanley Jordan play “Eyes of the World” with his new project, Stanley Plays The Dead, below. Jordan also sat down for a live interview with All That Jam to discuss the project. Scroll down to watch the full interview.

In addition to Stanley Plays The Dead, Stanley Jordan has upcoming shows with his longstanding Jimi Hendrix tribute, Stanley Plays Jimi, as well as solo and quartet tour dates. For a full list of his upcoming performances and to purchase tickets, visit his website.

Stanley Plays The Dead – “Eyes Of The World”

Stanley Jordan On Stanley Plays The Dead [Interview]