From star-studded tributes to the legendary Village Music shop and sonic pioneers like Ali Akhbar Khan and Jaco Pastorius to the ASCAP Music Cafe and bombastic closing night parties, music has long played a major role at the Mill Valley Film Festival. But the 38th edition of the iconic event – slated for Oct. 8–18 – is letting the music play with even more fervor, taking over the vaunted Sweetwater Music Hall for nine nights of live music featuring an eclectic lineup of bands.

The lineup includes cult heroes like Dean Ween, Bay Area favorites like Stroke 9 and the Mother Truckers, stalwart local jazz drummer Tommy Igoe and a whole lot more. 

The series also includes a pair of special shows. The first, set for Oct. 10, is “Sing Out for Sight,: a benefit for the Seva Foundation, an event that promises a “star-studded ensemble” as the foundation’s board members include Bob Weir and Wavy Gravy. The second event, “Amazing Grace Gospel Show,” celebrates the iconic song and a long-lost documentary of the same name, with Marin legend Narada Michael Walden bringing together some of the top gospel musicians in the Bay Area for a “a night of spirit-moving, hand-clapping musical power.”

More info below:

DEAN WEEN GROUP  | Friday, October 9
Master guitarist Dean Ween’s (Voodoo Lady, Bananas and Blow, Piss Up a Rope) real name is Captain Michael “Mickey” Melchionado, Jr., and whenever he’s not leading deep-ocean fishing tours (he really is a captain), he joins up with his daring crew of music-making band-mates, captivating audiences with harmonic theatrics, off-the-wall lyrics, and an outrageous stage presence.

THE MOTHER TRUCKERS featuring Shawn Sahm of the Texas Tornados  | Sunday, October 11
Following the screening of Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove, Shawn Sahm, the son of the late Doug Sahm (the subject of the film) will join The Mother Truckers to celebrate the life and legacy of the legendary musical madman and founder of the psychedelic Sir Douglas Quintet.

THE BROTHERS COMATOSE  | Monday, October 12 
Having built a tremendously loyal (and large) following with their lively concerts and upbeat folky-bluesy string band tunes, the locally bred Brothers Comatose have returned from inaugurating their self-named Sierra mountain music festival, Comatopia. They bring their hot licks and hootenanny magic to Mill Valley, where there is guaranteed to be at least one enormous sing-along before the party ends.

These ’60s-and-’70s cover-song specialists are an outrageous crew, including one educator / theater company founder – Steve Riffkin, one brain surgeon/rocket scientist – Eric Lyons, one writer/director/filmmaker – James Redford, and two actual musicians, Justin Ganz and “Olive” herself, Stefanie Coyote. Celebrating the MVFF screening of Redford’s documentary Paper Tigers, this fun-loving ensemble slinks into the Sweetwater with an irresistibly danceable show that is a lot like its name—cool, dry, and a little dirty.

TOMMY IGOE  | Wednesday, October 14 
He’s a global drumming icon, known locally for the Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, but best known as the founder of the Birdland Big Band, of New York City’s legendary Birdland Jazz Club. Igoe brings an all-star sextet, specially “curated” for this show, featuring sax sensations Marc Russo (Doobie Brothers) and Tom Politzer (Tower of Power), with Dan Parenti (Michael Brecker) on bass, Colin Hogan (Larry Graham) on keyboards, and Karl Perazzo (Santana) on percussion.

STROKE 9  | Thursday, October 15 
Hard rocking and high-spirited, the Bay Area alternative band Stroke 9 formed as a high school “senior project” at Marin Academy, with a number of hit records, including the catchy youth anthem Little Black Backpack and the hard-driving Kick Some Ass, prominently employed in Kevin Smith’s film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

SING OUT FOR SIGHT  | Saturday, October 10
A Benefit for the Seva Foundation and Mill Valley Film Festival 
This spectacular musical event celebrates World Sight Day, the premiere of the documentary Open Your Eyes and Seva Foundation’s four-millionth sight-saving surgery. To raise funds for this valuable work, a star-studded ensemble of musicians will team up for a night of great tunes and amazing stories. Visit or for more information and artist updates.

AMAZING GRACE GOSPEL SHOW  | Saturday, October 17 
How sweet the sound! Amazing Grace is arguably the most beloved hymn/spiritual/folk song ever written. In celebration of the long-lost documentary of the same name, multiple Grammy-winning musician/producer Narada Michael Walden brings together some of the top gospel musicians in the Bay Area for a night of spirit-moving, hand-clapping musical power.  

More info on the MVFF Music program, including ticket prices and artist updates.

Here are some videos featuring some of the MVFF38 Music performers:

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