Melvin Seals (born 1953 in San Francisco, California) is an American musician, best known as a longtime member of the Jerry Garcia Band.
Early life and career
Melvin Seals began playing piano at age eight and began his musical adventure playing gospel music for his local church. Over the next years he joined a few different bands in San Francisco and became good at playing other keyboards, particularly the electric organ, which he would play for the majority of his musical career. He went on to record and perform with artists such as Charlie Daniels, Elvin Bishop and Chuck Berry.
In 1980 Melvin Seals joined the Jerry Garcia Band and remained a member until Jerry Garcia's death in 1995. He had the third-longest tenure in the band next to Garcia and bassist John Kahn, who had been members for the band's entire history. After Garcia and Kahn's deaths in 1995 and 1996 respectively, Seals formed JGB which he performs with to this day. JGB is essentially the Jerry Garcia band without Jerry and aims to continue the group's legacy.
Other projects Seals has been involved in include The Mix with guitarist John Kadlecik bass Kevin Rosen and Steve Kimock's Crazy Engine with Steve Kimock.
On July 30, 2004, Seals was the first Jerry Garcia Band member to headline an outdoor music and camping festival named in honor of Jerry Garcia, called Grateful Garcia Gathering. Melvin Seals and JGB members that year included Stu Allen and John Kadlecik. Jerry Garcia Band drummer David Kemper joined Melvin Seals & JGB in 2007. To date, other musicians/friends of Jerry's have included Donna Jean, Mookie Siegel, Pete Sears, G. E. Smith, Barry Sless, Mark Karan, Mike Lawson, Dave Hebert Brian Lesh to name a few musicians.
In 2005 Seals released his first solo CD entitled Melting Pot.