John Kadlecik’s Four Night Summer Solstice Recap [Photo/Video/Audio] [Updated: 4 Nights Audio]

DC's own, John Kadlecik, returned to Gypsy Sally's for four nights – dubbed the "Summer Solstice Jam" – with a formidable group comprised of Melvin Seals, Jay Lane, Robin Sylvester and the vocal duo of Jessica Lake and Mary Lankford. From June 21-24, the new supergroup wowed packed crowds at DC's beloved Grateful Dead spot in Georgetown. The buzz was palpable and the music was memorable. 

Click for Full Size Image. This poster was made with Love (C) Jimmy Rector.

It was apparent early on that this band could capture the magic that the Jerry Garcia Band once produced. Melvin Seals seemed to up the ante with the band recognizing his legend status – prompting each member to step up their game – and step up they did. Seals donned a smile throughout the entire run, laying it down on his organ to the delight of the crowd. 

Throughout the run, a buzz surrounded the Georgetown venue, with many in search of a miracle on Saturday night, June 23. Gypsy Sally's has been a hub for memorable John K shows for years and again kept the tradition alive on the opening weekend of Summer 2018. Saturday's sold-out show featured Sanjay Mishra (guitar) sit in on a magical 'Birdsong' that was one of the standouts of the run. He returned for a second-set Dark Star to lend is unique sound once again. Mishra worked with Garcia on one of his last album releases, Blue Incantation.

Sunday rounded out the run with an early, kid-friendly show and featured another special guest, DC-staple, Ron Holloway on tenor saxophone. Holloway emerged in the first set during 'Love in the Afternoon' and treated the crowd for the remainder of the show. 

In all, Summer Solstice was a series of brilliant, energetic and extraordinary performances with a special moment guaranteed each for concertgoers. The sky was yellow and the sun was blue as the gifted musicians radiated on stage and played as a beautiful wall of sound.  

If you looked carefully each night you could see hidden queues between artists as they segued from one delightful moment to another. Musical energy flowed and was dribbled around the stage by sublte winks, gleeful smiles, laughter, kinetic energy, alley-oops, and magical 'no-look' behind the back passes. Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right. These masterful masterful artists and their guests got everything right this series. It might have been the blue sun or the solstice moon, and if you were there you knew it was a magical series of shows.

DC Music Review hopes the Solstice Run can become an annual tradition for us to all bask in and once again strangers at Gypsy Sally's stopping strangers just to shake their hand and celebrate another wonderful night of music.

  • June 21
  • June 22
  • June 23
  • June 24

Please enjoy the performance from our collaborator Bob Jacobson.

Set 1

Set 2

  • JUNE 21
  • JUNE 22
  • June 23
  • JUNE 24

Enjoy the audio recording by our contributor Bob Jacobson

Enjoy the audio recording by our contributor Bob Jacobson


Enjoy photos by our photographer Jason Herman of Jason Herman Photography.

  • JUNE 21
  • JUNE 23
About the author

Josh Brick

Josh Brick is amongst the most prolific photographers in the Washington, DC area. On any given night Josh can be found literally at any venue in and around the Washington, Maryland, and Virginia landscape.