While plenty of musicians start off in humble circumstances, not many have managed to ferry it into near continuous, multi-decade success. Count Trey Anastasio among those lucky few. Born Ernest Joseph Anastasio III, Trey started his more than 30-year run with legendary jam band Phish, providing music for a Christmas dance at the University of Vermont. Since then, Anastasio has shepherded his career into millions of albums sold, guest stints with numerous other acts, and solo gigs that included multiple appearances at notable venues such as Carnegie Hall. Whether seeing him backed by other musicians or solo with one of his beloved Languedoc guitars, holders of Trey Anastasio tickets will behold true musical craftsmanship on display.
Trey Anastasio's background
Anastasio's musical interest began during his youth, when he formed bands while attending The Taft School, a Connecticut preparatory school. He met his Phish bandmates in 1983 while enrolled at the University of Vermont, and their friendship resulted in a dorm-room mixtape recording that kickstarted the band's career. Long jam sessions in Anastasio's apartment flowered into 1989's two-disc album Junta, which sold more than one million copies. Phish would replicate that success time and again, with the RIAA certifying the next five albums either gold or platinum. Over this period, Anastasio and company worked on their multi-instrumental talents, developing a performance exercise dubbed The Rotation Jam where they would swap off their usual instruments mid-performance. Two studio albums sold more than 500,000 copies, and the group members produced their highest charting material during that period, releasing three albums (Billy Breathes, Story of the Ghost and Fuego) that landed on the Billboard 200.
Trey Anastasio's career milestones
Despite the success enjoyed by Phish, Anastasio didn't rest on his laurels. In the mid-nineties, he joined two Vermont-based jazz bands (Bad Hat and Surrender to the Air), and he also performed with Phil Lesh and Friends, the act helmed by the bassist of The Grateful Dead. He formed Trey Anastasio Band (aka TAB) in 1998, which eventually grew to include eight musicians and included horns and flutes, a rarity for a rock act. TAB would perform in Colorado's strikingly beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Jones Beach Marine Theater in New York. Anastasio then moved on to solo work. He appeared on Toots and the Maytals' Grammy-winning True Love, performed twice at Carnegie Hall, opened with Robert Randolph Band for Eric Clapton and debuted pieces on the orchestral album Time Turns Elastic at the Ryman Auditorium. He wrote the music for the critically acclaimed 2013 Broadway play Hands on a Hardbody. In 2015, he assumed lead vocal and guitar duties during a farewell tour for a reunited The Grateful Dead.