by Andrew Sacher

Jefferson Airplane

The Grateful Dead aren't the only San Francisco Sound band celebrating a 50th anniversary this year. Jefferson Airplane turn 50 too, and to celebrate that, founding guitarist, backup and sometimes-lead vocalist Paul Kantner's band Jefferson Starship are playing full Airplane sets on tour. The current lineup has Paul joined by longtime member David Freiberg, also of the great San Francisco band Quicksilver Messenger Service and a brief Airplane member in the early '70s, as well as Cathy Richardson, Donny Baldwin, Chris Smith and Jude Gold.

The tour hits NYC on March 22 at BB King's. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.

It may not be as exciting as if the full band got back together, but seeing Paul Kantner do a full set of Jefferson Airplane songs (especially with Freiberg on board) is still something to look forward to. Plus, as long as Grace Slick remains retired, a full reunion is out of the question. And according to former bandmate Jorma Kaukonen, she is. He recently re-confirmed to JTA, "Grace doesn't sing anymore, so that means that's really out of the question." But as for the rest of the members: "We'd like to do something. We don't know what that is, whether it's just wandering around and yakking on talk shows or something like that. Maybe having some acoustic guitars and playing some songs and talking."

Jorma's last appearance in NYC was actually Airplane-related too. Hot Tuna, his duo with JA bassist Jack Casady, played a special Beacon Theatre show in December for Jack's 70th birthday that had Jefferson Airplane co-lead singer Marty Balin fronting the band for "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds," "Plastic Fantastic Lover" and "Volunteers." They also of course did the Grace Slick-fronted "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit," but with Tuna live member Teresa Williams singing lead, and covered The Dead's "Sugaree." Check out a video of Marty with Tuna from that show, below.

Jorma also takes part in the upcoming Jerry Garcia tribute in Maryland, which all four current Dead members are playing. Jorma's other upcoming shows include SXSW, and nothing in NYC, but a couple nearby shows in NJ. All dates are listed below.

Marty Balin also has upcoming shows, including returns to NYC on April 4 at The Cutting Room (tickets) and July 31 at Iridium (tickets). He'll probably play a ton of Airplane too (check out the setlist of his most recent NYC show). All of his dates are listed below.

Watch a few classic Jefferson Airplane videos, plus that recent Beacon Theatre video, and the lists of tour dates, below...

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Hot Tuna + Marty Balin - "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds" - Beacon Theatre - 12/13/14

Jefferson Airplane - "Won't You Try / Saturday Afternoon" at Woodstock 1969

Jefferson Airplane - "Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil" live in 1967

Jefferson Airplane - "Today" at Monterey Pop Festival 1967

Jefferson Airpane - "Wooden Ships" live at Fillmore East, 1970

Jefferson Airplane - "Crown of Creation" on Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, 1968

Jefferson Starship -- 'Jefferson Airplane 50' Dates
Mar 6 - Greensburg, PA/ Palace Thr.
Mar 7 - Cleveland, OK/ Masonic Aud.
Mar 15 - Anchorage, AK/ Freezing Man Anchorage @ Alaska Ctr. for the Performing Arts
Mar 19 - Natick, MA/ Natick Ctr. for the Arts
Mar 20 - Sugarloaf, NY Sugarloaf PAC
Mar 21 - Beverly, MA/ Larcom Thr.
Mar 22 - NY, NY/ BB King's Blues Club
Mar 24 - Annapolis, MD/ Ram's Head
Mar 26 - Londonderry, NH/ Tupelo Music Hall
Mar 27 - Uncasville, CT/ Mohegan Sun Casino
Mar 28 - Norfolk, CT/ Infinity Music Hall
Mar 29 - St. Charles, IL/ Arcada Thr.
Apr 10 - Florence, OR/ Three Rivers Casino
Apr 11 - Florence, OR/ Three Rivers Casino
Apr 25 - Jacksonville, FL/ Ponte Vedra Music Hall
Apr 27 - Little Torch Key, FL/ Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
Apr 29 - The Villages. FL/ The Savannah Ctr.
June 6 - San Mateo County Fair
June 20 - FIRM Craig, CO/ Loudy Simpson Park
July 21 - Springfield, IL/ Convention Ctr. Plaza
July 23 - Truro, MA/ Payomet PAC
July 24 - Hartford, CT/ Connecticut Convention Ctr.
July 25 - Stockton, NJ/ Stockton Rocks Hamilton Township
July 31 - Costa Mesa, CA/ OC Fair

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Hot Tuna/Jorma Kaukonen -- 2015 Tour Dates
03/06/15 Colonial Theatre Phoenixville, PA*
03/07/15 South Orange Performing Arts Center South Orange, NJ*
03/08/15 Newton Theatre Newton, NJ*
03/12/15 Narrow Center for the Arts Fall River, MA*
03/13/15 Infinity Hall Hartford, CT*
03/14/15 Stage One Fairfield, CT*
03/15/15 Boulton Center for the Performing Arts Bay Shore, NY*
03/17-18/15 South By Southwest Austin , TX^
03/21/15 Fur Peace Station Pomeroy, OH#
04/02/15 Mountain Ridge Country Club West Caldwell, NJ^
04/08-09/15 City Winery Chicago, IL^
04/11/15 Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant Minneapolis, MN^
04/12/15 Stoughton Opera House Stoughton, WI^
04/16/15 Wanee Festival Live Oak, Florida%
04/17/15 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA%
04/18/15 Carolina Theatre of Durham Durham, NC%
04/25/15 Fur Peace Station Pomeroy, OH @
05/14/15 Merriweather Post Pavillion Columbia, MD (Jerry Garcia tribute)^
05/15/15 The Bull Run Concert Series Shirley, MA^
05/16/15 Towne Crier Cafe Beacon, NY^
06/19/15 Mamiya Theatre Honolulu, HI#
06/20/15 Kauai Performing Arts Center Kauai, HI#
06/21/15 Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation Maui, HI#
06/26/15 Palace Theater Hilo, HI#
06/27/15 Honoka'a People's Theatre Honoka'a, HI#
06/28/15 Crossroads at Hawaiian Brian's Honolulu, HI#
08/01/15 Fur Peace Station Pomeroy, OH%
11/14/15 Fur Peace Station Pomeroy, OH#

* - Jorma and Barry Mitterhoff
^ - Jorma solo
# - Acoustic Hot Tuna
% - Electric Hot Tuna
@ - Guitar Summit: Jorma, David Lindley & GE Smith

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Marty Balin -- 2015 Tour Dates
April 4th, 2015 The Cutting Room, NYC
June 13th, 2015 The Triple Door Seattle Washington
June 19th, 2015 The City Winery Napa Valley, CA
June 20th, 2015 Throckmorton Theatre Mill Valley, San Francisco
July 31st, 2015 The Iridium , NYC
August 1st, 2015 Dix Hills Performing Arts Center, Long Island New York
September 4th, 2015 The Marty Balin Atelier, Music and Art St Augustine, FL