Musicians are known for staying up late and reaching for their guitar whenever the mood strikes. But after you have your first child, it’s not so easy to just strum a tune every time you feel like it. For Jackie Greene, being a father to his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Luca, has definitely changed when, where and at what volume he plays his music.
“I had a studio in my house, and for many years that’s where I would work on stuff,” Greene said. “I could be as loud as I wanted, relatively speaking. But with the baby’s schedule I get up really early in the morning, I have to put headphones on — the baby is the boss.”
Born in Northern California, Greene has spent much of this life on the road as a touring musician. Along with playing solo, Greene has been a part of a number of other bands, including serving as lead guitarist for the Black Crowes from 2013 to 2015. Since 2006, Greene has also played frequently with Phil Lesh, founding member and guitarist for the Grateful Dead.
As part of the Moe’s Original Bar B Que Hot Summer Nights concert series, the Jackie Greene Band will perform a free show at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail on Tuesday, July 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Jamming with the quintessential jam band
Greene said he didn’t grow up listening to the Grateful Dead, instead idolizing classic rock musicians like Bob Dylan and others.
“That was really my first exposure to the Dead, playing the music,” Greene said. “It was a lot of on-the-job-training.”
Although he’d only heard a handful of Grateful Dead songs before playing with Lesh, this ultimately allowed Greene to bring a fresh perspective to the band’s catalog.
“It’s one thing to have people who grow up with the Grateful Dead playing that music, [trying to] imitate something Jerry [Garcia] did in ‘76,” Greene said. “I’d never heard any of that stuff. I think Phil dug that — that I had no reference whatsoever.”
Now a full-fledged “Dead Head,” Greene often draws inspiration from the legendary jam band for his own songs, picking up on the experimental elements of the Grateful Dead’s music.
“It’s a pretty cool journey to learn [the Grateful Dead’s music] with the band themselves,” Greene said. “Playing that music and improvising on stage, it absolutely informed my songwriting. A song like ‘Brokedown Palace,’ you do the first verse and then it changes key. I never would have thought to do anything like that.”
Ready to hit the road — and the stage — again
After Greene and his wife welcomed baby Luca into the world, the musician took some time off from touring, moving from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Sacramento, Calif. to be closer to family. Despite these major life changes, Greene is looking forward to hitting the road with his band and playing for live audiences again.
“At the end of the day, we love what we do,” Greene said of his band. “We love playing music. We love the fact that people come out and listen and have a good time.”
Whether you call it jam band, classic rock or something in between, Greene is known for delivering a great live show that matches the talents of the musicians that came before him.
See the Jackie Greene Band Tuesday, July 2 at the Moe’s Original Bar B Que Hot Summer Nights free concert series.
Learn more about the non-profit Vail Valley Foundation’s FREE concert series’ at grfavail.com.
About the Vail Valley Foundation FREE Summer Concert Series
Each summer the non-profit Vail Valley Foundation provides two, free, summer concert series in the Vail Valley as part of the arts aspect of its mission to enhance quality of life in the Vail Valley through arts, athletics, and education. The Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que Hot Summer Nights concert series at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater brings free concerts to Vail June – August on most Tuesdays. The Alpine Bank ShowDown Town concert series, presented by the Town of Eagle, brings free concerts to Eagle Town Park most Thursdays.
See the schedule and learn more at grfavail.com.
About the Vail Valley Foundation
The Vail Valley Foundation is a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit with a mission to enhance the quality of life in the Vail Valley through arts, athletics and education. The organization’s work in education is through YouthPower365, which operates as its own 501c3 with a mission to provide year-round extended learning that empowers and educates the youth and families of Eagle County from cradle-to-career readiness. The Vail Valley Foundation also provides the Vail Valley with several of its most treasured annual events, such as the GoPro Mountain Games, the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup races, the Vail Dance Festival, Hot Summer Nights and ShowDown Town free concert series’, and the Whistle Pig Vail concert series. The Vail Valley Foundation also manages and operates the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek Village and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, providing more than 100 Broadway, dance, classical, rock, pop, jazz and family events per year.
Vail Valley Foundation activities and events are made possible by cornerstone partners: the Town of Vail, Vail Resorts, GMC, and TIAA Bank. Visit www.vvf.org to learn more.


Media contact:
Tom Boyd
c. 970.376.3707
d. 970.748.5935
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