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In curating the lineup for the 2017 edition of Sound Summit: A Benefit for The Mountain, a day-long music festival to benefit Mount Tamalpais State Park, producer and Mill Valley resident Michael Nash sought to strike a balance between two overarching goals: celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and the landmark Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival that took place at Tam’s Mountain Theater, and bring in younger artists who innovate on the creativity of those sonic pioneers.

It’s safe to say that Nash did just that, knocking it out of the proverbial park with a lineup that features two of the biggest names from the Summer of Love – Grateful Dead legends and Marin residents Phil Lesh and Bob Weir – but mixing them in with solo sets from My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and former Rilo Kiley front woman Jenny Lewis, as well as the ever-evolving Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Bay Area rock band Vetiver. KNBR radio personalities Murph & Mac (aka Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey) return as the day’s dynamic Masters of Ceremonies.

Sound Summit – Nash’s double entendre moniker for the festival – is set for Saturday, Sept. 9 (11am–7pm) in the 3,750-seat Cushing Memorial Amphitheater, home to the Mountain Play.

“Sound Summit continues to fulfill what we’d envisioned – a spirited community gathering in a stellar location with a great soundtrack,” Nash says. “It’s also throwback to a more grassroots, time-out-of-mind experience. There’s a certain synergy in the amphitheater between the artists and the audience, an intimate gathering amidst an expansive landscape.”

Produced as an annual celebration of and fundraiser for Mount Tamalpais State Park by Roots & Branches Conservancy, the one-day festival has raised $100,000 for Mount Tam in just its first two years. 

Previous acts have included Wilco, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos, Dr. John & The Night Trippers, Bill Frisell, The Mother Hips, and many more. Fans variously make the journey up to the mountain venue by foot, bike, car, and bus.
 
“Getting there and back is a spirited adventure in its own right,” adds Nash. “An ascent of winding roads and wooded trails with incredible vistas. There’s a tangible sense of getting away from it all for a day and getting back to nature, distinctly different from a down-on-the-ground event.”
 
Here’s more info on Sound Summit’s lineup:

Phil Lesh & Friends
Phil Lesh is in his 19th year of playing with a rotating mix of Friends, both old and new. Phil began playing under the moniker Phil Lesh and Friends in 1998, after he’d returned to performing following the death of his friend and bandmate Jerry Garcia in 1995. With a varied mixture of some of the best performing musicians in the live music universe, Phil has kept his musical journey fresh by constantly and consistently putting together bands featuring dynamic, exciting musicians and singers working together toward keeping the music of the Grateful Dead moving forward into the future.
 
Bob Weir
Bob Weir is one of the founding members of the legendary Grateful Dead, which received a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. The band has also appeared on Forbes’ list of top-grossing entertainers and in the early ‘90s were the highest-grossing concert attraction in the U.S. Since establishing the band in 1965, Weir has become one of rock’s finest and most distinctive rhythm guitarists. Earlier this year he received the inaugural Les Paul Spirit Award. Weir is currently a member of Dead & Company and has also performed with many other acts including The Other Ones, Kingfish, Bob Weir Band, Bobby and the Midnites, Scaring the Children, Ratdog and Furthur, co-led by former Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. His first solo album, Ace, was released in 1972. 
 
Jim James (Solo)
Jim James has spent the better part of almost two decades as the lead singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of My Morning Jacket.  Through seven studio albums, My Morning Jacket has grown into one of the most acclaimed rock and roll bands in the world. The New York Times heralded the band as, “…the new kings of expand-your-mind, religious-experience rock…” Their last three albums, received Grammy nominations for Best Alternative Album — the latter debuting at number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart.  Alongside the band’s recording and touring, James has maintained a steady, bordering on voracious, flow of work.
 
Jenny Lewis
One of the most celebrated and respected performers of her generation, Jenny Lewis got her start as the dynamic frontwoman of influential LA group Rilo Kiley in 1998. She has since released three albums under her name, most recently 2014’s The Voyager. Lewis has collaborated with Beck, Elvis Costello, Ryan Adams and M. Ward, among others. She has also written music for films.
 
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Preservation Hall Jazz Band has held the torch of New Orleans music aloft for more than 50 years, all the while carrying it enthusiastically forward as a reminder that the history they were founded to preserve is a vibrantly living history.
 
Vetiver
Vetiver is the long running stage and recording name of San Francisco’s Andy Cabic, who since 2003 has released over 6 albums and toured around the world supporting artists such as Wilco, The Shins, Fleet Foxes and Beach House.  Vetiver craft nuanced, understated songs that reward careful listening, building a rich duality; a space where sunshine is only a chord away from melancholy, an introspective lyric underlies an extroverted chorus and subtlety tries to be outgoing in an effort to connect the dots of life’s ellipsis.
 
About Roots & Branches Conservancy
 
Roots & Branches Conservancy is a San Francisco Bay Area-based non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of natural resources, both physical and cultural. The broad arc of its efforts ranges from regional environmental and educational work to the preservation and evolution of artistic and cultural traditions – musical, narrative, and beyond. Wherever possible, the organization aims to create intersections between the environment and the arts to their mutual benefit. 
 
The 411: Tickets for Sound Summit go on sale on June 21. Adults are $110, children 12 and younger are $55 and kids under 2 are free. More info.

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