Grateful Dead bassist gives menorah lighting concert at his popular club
By Mindy Rochwerg
December 22, 2014
On December 16, the menorah was lit and Hanukkah got its own dinner and show at the entertainment and dinner spot in San Rafael, California, owned by founding member and bassist of The Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh.
More than 150 people attended the event, billed as “Terrapin Nation Hanukkah.”
According to jweekly.com, Lesh read the story of Hanukkah and Cheryl Provost, who referred to herself as “Terrapin’s resident Jewish mother,” thanked him for creating the “best JCC [Jewish Community Center] anywhere.” Lesh said the blessing over the candles in English and Jeannette Ferber, cantorial soloist at Chochmat HaLev, a synagogue in Berkeley, sang the words in Hebrew.
After dinner, a concert was given by a group of musicians which included Lesh and guitarists Ross James and Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz, playing songs like “Hanukkah O Hanukkah,” and Cantor Ferber singing Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Light One Candle.” The show opened with the Grateful Dead classic “I Need a Miracle” and featured a number of other Grateful Dead songs having to do with light.
This was not the first Jewish holiday celebrated at Terrapin Crossroads. After a menorah lighting last year was so well attended, there was then a Passover Seder that included a show featuring liberation themed songs and then a Rosh Hashanah show and dinner in September, where Lesh, who is not Jewish, was seen helping serve the matzah ball soup.
Since the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, Lesh has been playing with a rotating list of musicians, including the likes of: Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell of Phish, Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, John Molo, John Scofield, Greg Osby, Ryan Adams, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, Joan Osborne, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Bill Payne and Paul Barrere of Little Feat and Chris Robinson.
Lesh opened Terrapin Crossroads in 2012 as a place close to home where, he would have the freedom to play what he wants, when he wants, with whom he wants and as late as he wants.