It’s Official: John Kadlecik Leaving Dark Star Orchestra

“Dark Star Orchestra will continue to bring you this music at its highest level,” says the band in its official statement. “In our 12 years history we have gone through three drummers, three keyboard players, three bass player and numerous rhythm guitarists and we have always managed to keep improving the sound and the experience. We will be taking on a new player with his own talents and energy and turn yet another chapter in DSO history.”

The remarkable run of Dark Star Orchestra began in November 1997. Based in Chicago at the time, the band built a steady following thanks to its tribute-transcending recreation of historical Dead shows, tasty original setlists and tireless dedication to making ancient and well-traveled material seem especially vital. Kadlecik was a founding member, and over the years the band’s lineup has evolved some. It currently numbers seven members, but an additional 13 different musicians have logged stints with DSO over the 12 years.

The band gained the admiration of the Dead community during its decade-plus run, and support from the members of the Dead themselves, with Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux, Vince Welnick and Tom Constanten among the Grateful Dead members to have sat in over the years. Dark Star Orchestra’s fans have also seen the band through some terrible lows, including the death of keyboardist and co-founder Scott Larned of a heart attack in April 2005.

Where Kadlecik goes from here seems to be Furthur, also he’s also been playing in a percussion-heavy combo called Firewheel with his wife Katie. In a recent interview with Hidden Track, Kadlecik discussed Dark Star Orchestra, but declined to answer questions about either his future with DSO or the genesis of Furthur.

The DSO closes its Monday statement as such: “We assure you all the things you love about the Dark Star Orchestra experience will continue and we ask for your patience, friendship and positive energy as we keep truckin’ on…”

Here’s the official statement from Dark Star Orchestra:

Dear DSO Fan –

Thank you for joining us and being a part of this continuing, long strange trip these past 12 years.   Your support and excitement for the music has kept us going strong for over 1700 shows. Throughout the years, we’ve had transitions both difficult and uplifting, yet the positive energy of our fan base has continued to propel our mission onward for performing this important music and for keeping this vibrant scene alive.

That said, we, as a band are entering another chapter in this story.

Dark Star Orchestra’s lead guitarist and one of its founding members, John Kadlecik, has decided to resign from DSO.  John’s last show with us will be on December 5 in Buffalo. DSO is supportive of John’s choice and we wish him the very best.

Dark Star Orchestra will continue to bring you this music at its highest level.  In our 12 year history we have gone through three drummers, three keyboard players, three bass players and numerous rhythm guitarists and we have always managed to keep improving the sound and the experience.  We will be taking on a new player with his own talents and energy and turn yet another chapter in DSO history.

Veteran guitarist Jeff Mattson of the Zen Tricksters and Donna Jean Godchaux Band, will be joining us this week, on the New Year’s Run, Jam Cruise, and for our upcoming Winter Tour that begins in February.  We assure you all the things you love about the Dark Star Orchestra experience will continue and we ask for your patience, friendship and positive energy as we keep truckin’ on…

Dark Star Orchestra

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10 thoughts on “It’s Official: John Kadlecik Leaving Dark Star Orchestra

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Hidden Track » It’s Official: John Kadlecik Leaving Dark Star Orchestra -- Topsy.com |

  2. Dan Reply

    John was always good, and I really enjoy DSO, but Jeff is a better guitarist imo, and will fit nicely with the band (always has during sit ins in the past). He’s got some fire going on that John doesn’t always nail. Plus Rob and Jeff together again? Sounds good to me.
    If John is leaving exclusively for Phil tho, that’s a dumb move. The longest running band was the Q, and that didn’t run all that long, and ran infrequently at the end.

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  8. Gucci Reply

    good shoes

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