Melvin Seals: The Legendary Hammond B-3 Wizard

You've just gotta love the guy and what he has done on the music scene. I remember the first time I heard some tracks from "Melting Pot". I was driving into work where I am part of a team that handles custom application development for companies requiring specialized, industry-specific needs that are usually outside the scope of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) programs. When a company utilizes COTS software, they're at the whim of the company that built the software. Imagine the disruptions that could occur if the company's COTS software were discontinued? Most likely they would be required to purchase some unexpected expensive upgrades or in the worst scenario, go out of business. Custom business and web application development that we create for clients is actually owned by them. They can keep the programs and tools as long as they like. Custom software development alleviates concerns that the one day-in and day-out programs a company relies on will suddenly not be available anymore. Anyway, I was stopped in a LA traffic jam feeling resigned to the fact I would be late again when the upbeat and quirky jam band rocker "Celebrate" came on followed by the hard-driving "Woman With an Attitude." All my frustrations evaporated and lo and behold the traffic jam melted away.

I loved this site when it first appeared to promote the release of "Melvin Seals' Melting Pot" and was stunned when it seemed to just disappear overnight. Turns out the domain had expired. Well, I was delighted when I recently discovered that the domain was available, so I bought it with the goal of recreating as much of its original content as possible from archived pages. I did not want someone else to purchase the domain and re-purpose the site for something that had nothing in common with the original website. Take a nostalgic boogie through the site as I have reimagined it. And enjoy.

Go to: for more recent info on Melvin Seals.


"As a fellow B-3 player and profound admirer of Melvin Seals, the impact he's had on my musical journey is indescribable. From the moment I first heard him play, I was captivated by his remarkable technique and the soulful vibrancy he brought to every note. It was Seals' incredible ability to blend seamlessly across genres, from rock to blues to gospel, that inspired me to broaden my own musical horizons. Attempting to emulate his style pushed me to explore new dimensions of my playing, enriching my understanding and appreciation of the B-3 organ's capabilities.

One unforgettable experience was seeing Melvin live, where his choice of a Joker t-shirt caught my eye. Post-show, I couldn't resist asking him about it. His whimsical response, suggesting the shirt was a gift from "Batman," and then playfully insisting Batman was real, while attributing the Joker's artistic side to the Dark Knight, left me both amused and puzzled. I learned from other band members that he was a hardcore Batman fanatic and had many Joker t shirts. It was a moment of levity that underscored the depth of Seals' character - a man of profound talent, yet not without a sense of humor, much like the complex interplay of light and dark within the music he played so masterfully.

This encounter, alongside his musical genius, cemented my view of Melvin Seals not just as an iconic musician but as a true artist who, like the Joker in his story, embodies the spirit of creativity and unpredictability. His influence on me transcends the notes and melodies; it's about the spirit of exploration and the joy of music. Melvin Seals may very well be the joker in the deck of musical greats, bringing joy, surprise, and a touch of mystery to all who have the privilege of experiencing his music." Santiago Supile




Circa 2005

Melvin Seals has done it again!!! The legendary Hammond B-3 wizard is introducing his new band along with a new CD release entitled, "Melvin Seals' Melting Pot". Melvin is best known for his long friendship and musical partnership with cultural icon and guitarist Jerry Garcia and the smile of his that lights up the room. Melvin spun his B-3 magic with the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years and in doing so helped pioneer and define what has now become "Jam Band Music".

Current projects include Merle Saunders and Melvin Seals Live on Tour, JGB Keepers of the Flame, Melvin Seals Melting Pot and The Mix. The best is yet to come. From blues to funk to rock to bluegrass, The Mix serves up a tasty mix with a little R&B and gospel thrown in to spice things up. Each member of this powerhouse lineup brings an intuitive, expressive style, soul, spontaneity and remarkable chops to the table. With acoustic and electric ingredients and unique combinations of guitar, mandolin, slide and lap steel with savory bass, hearty drums and, of course, a heapin' helpin' of the wizard's magic on Hammond B-3 Organ and keyboards, the result is a most satisfying blend of natural organic grooves that challenges genre boundaries. Their chemistry is the focus from which they create a spontaneous and high art where the sky is the limit musically. They offer an exciting, often psychedelic musical journey that keeps audiences dancing and smiling (and some staring in amazement) for several hours. Melvin is pioneering a path deeper into the musical territory he helped to establish.

The Melvin Seals' performances are a must see, must feel experience!!! Their music is guaranteed to get into your soul, raise your spirit and get you groovin'!!!

"May you enjoy peace and happiness until we meet again". –MS


Melvin Seals' Information Center


Melvin Seals has been a powerful presence in the music industry for over 30 years with a long-established reputation as a performer, recording artist and producer.

He first started playing the piano at the age of 8. Later he played gospel music in a local church.  Gideon & Power, a local San Fransisco group was the name of his first band.

He has played with legends such as Chuck Berry, Charlie Daniels and Elvin Bishop. But perhaps Melvin is most revered for his powerful and high-spirited Hammond B-3 organ and keyboards in the Jerry Garcia Band, adding his gospel-soul touches to the rhythm and blues base of the JGB..

In 1980 Melvin Seals joined the Jerry Garcia Band, remaining a member until Jerry Garcia's sudden death in 1995. After the deaths of Garcia and Kahn in respectively 1995 and 1996, Seals formed JGB, which included with Garcia's background singers, Gloria Jones and Jackie Labranch. Over the passing years the JGB band has seen a number of former musicians/friends of Jerry's including Donna Jean, Barry Sless, Mookie Siegel, Pete Sears, G. E. Smith, Mike Lawson, Dave Hebert, Mark Karan, and Brian Lesh to name just a few, playing with the ever present Melvin Seals.

Touring steadily from late 1996 through 1999,  Seals released in February of 1998, a live CD with JGB called "Welcome To Our World.”  Some feel that JGB is essentially the Jerry Garcia band without Jerry, yet continuing the original group's legacy. Nevertheless, Melvin continues to treat music lovers to his unique brand of melodic flavor with his latest projects, Vitamin B-3 and The Mix, Melvin Seals Rythm Factory and the Melvin Seals JGB Band.


More Background on Melvin Seals

Melvin Seals has etched a permanent mark in the music world, particularly within the jam band and rock genres, through his vibrant contributions as a keyboardist and organist, most notably with the Jerry Garcia Band (JGB). Born in 1953 in San Francisco, California, Seals' musical journey began at a young age, initially playing gospel music for his local church before branching out into a wider array of genres.

Seals is perhaps best known for his work with the Jerry Garcia Band, where his mastery of the Hammond B-3 organ brought a distinctive soulful and energetic flair to the group's sound for over 18 years. This long-standing collaboration not only showcased Seals' exceptional talent but also cemented his role in defining what is today celebrated as "Jam Band Music."

Apart from his significant contributions to JGB, Seals has been involved in a variety of musical projects that highlight his versatility and passion for music. Notable collaborations include playing with Phil Lesh & Friends, Oteil & Friends, and participating in the band The Mix alongside John Kadlecik and Kevin Rosen. Seals' influence extends beyond the stage through his solo work, with albums like "Melting Pot" showcasing his ability to blend genres seamlessly, from rock to blues to gospel.

Seals' commitment to the musical legacy of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead universe is evident in his leadership of JGB, where he has worked to continue the band's mission and spirit. His performances are celebrated for their authenticity and emotional depth, often featuring collaborations with other musicians and vocalists who share a connection to the Grateful Dead's music.

Reviews of Seals' performances with JGB highlight the dynamic and transformative nature of their live shows. Shows are described as journeys through the extensive catalog of Garcia's music, with Seals' organ work providing a foundational groove that invites both band members and audience into a communal experience of exploration and celebration. The presence of backing vocalists like Gloria Jones and Jackie LaBranch, known affectionately as the "Jerryettes," adds a layer of soul and gospel-infused harmony to the music, enriching the overall sound.

Through his enduring dedication to his craft and his ability to connect with audiences, Melvin Seals has solidified his place as a pivotal figure in the jam band scene and beyond. His contributions to music have not only preserved the legacy of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead but also pushed the boundaries of improvisational music, making him a beloved figure among fans and fellow musicians alike.

For those interested in exploring the depth and breadth of Melvin Seals' music, his discography includes a range of albums that span his career, from his work with the Jerry Garcia Band to his solo projects. Each album offers a glimpse into the evolution of his sound and the various musical landscapes he has traversed over the years.

Melvin Seals' influence on music and culture extends far beyond the notes he plays. His spirit, dedication, and joy in music continue to inspire new generations of musicians and fans, ensuring his place in the pantheon of music legends.


Booking Agency for
Melvin Seals Related Projects

American Artists
Phil Hache
315 S. Beverly Hill Dr.
Suite 407
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 277-7877
(310) 277-7697 (fax)


Glide Magazine Feature Article
Melvin Seals: Keeping The Circle Unbroken
Ross Warner
Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Melvin Seals, the musical director and keyboardist for the Jerry Garcia Band for over 15 years, has formed a new band called The Mix with a cast of all-star musicians. In this new group with Melvin are: John Kadlecik, guitarist and vocalist from Dark Star Orchestra (The Dead's favorie Greateful Dead Cover Band!), along with bassist Kevin Rosen also from Darkstar, and Greg Anton fromt the famed San Francisco Jam Band Zer. The Album contains 10 new, original songs and is a must for all Jam Band aficionados as well as Grateful Dead fans. The Mix will be hitting the road this Fall in support of the album.