The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long musical improvisation. The band's primary members and longtime companions were Jerry Garcia (lead guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (rhythm guitar, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), Bill Kreutzmann (drums) and Mickey Hart (drums).
"Their music," writes Lenny Kaye, "touches on ground that most other grups don't even know exists." These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world." They were ranked 57th in the issue The Greatest Artists of all Time by Rolling Stone magazine and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
Following Jerry Garcia's death in August 1995, the remaining members formally decided to disband. Since that time however, there have been a number of reunions by the surviving members involving various combinations of musicians. (Wikipedia)