When the Grateful Dead launched the Rex Foundation in 1983, they had not yet hit the 20-year milestone. The band’s break onto the top of the pop charts and into the mainstream’s limelight was a few years away, and the taper’s section was not yet a reality.
This community has come a long way!
On December 13th, Rex celebrated 25 years of grassroots philanthropy with “Sweet Music Everywhere” at the Grand Ballroom of the Regency Center in San Francisco.
During his bluegrass set, early in the evening, headliner Peter Rowan commented that his musical world opened up the day he heard the “Whop-bop-a-lu-a-whop-bam-boo.” The evening’s performers, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, David Gans, Jackie Greene, the Brass Mafia, and Crucial Reggae lived up to the challenge of exploring the horizons, weaving elements of reggae, bluegrass, and rock ‘n’ roll into new arrangements of familiar tunes.
Since its inception the Rex Foundation has granted over $8M dollars to grassroots nonprofits and individual artists doing good work all around the globe. Over $1M of that amount has been raised and given out since 2001, when Rex invited the next generation of musicians and supporters to join the Rex Caravan, and participate in special events that carry on the Grateful Dead’s tradition of benefit concerts.
Thank you to everyone who attended. Even if you missed the music, you can still be a part of the celebration. Stanley Mouse’s commemorative poster – created especially for the occasion – is still available.