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Keyboard player T Lavitz joined the Dixie Dregs (aka the Dregs) in 1979, just after Night of the Living Dregs. He played with the band until it broke up in 1982. Lavitz issued a number of independent label releases in a jazz-rock vein during the remainder of the ‘80s and into the ‘90s, including Extended Play (1984), Story Time (1986), From the West (1987), T Lavitz and the Bad Habitz (1989), Mood Swing (1991), and Gossip (1996). During the ‘90s he also toured and recorded with a re-formed Dixie Dregs, appearing on the band’s 1992 live effort Bring ‘Em Back Alive and the studio album Full Circle, released two years later. The ‘90s also saw Lavitz playing with Widespread Panic and Jefferson Starship, and forming Jazz Is Dead, a fusion-oriented quartet that put its own spin on Grateful Dead material, with guitarist Jimmy Herring, bassist Alphonso Johnson, and drummer Billy Cobham. During the new millennium Lavitz participated in some additional notable collaborative projects, as can be heard on 2001’s Endangered Species (featuring guitarist Herring and the Little Feat rhythm section of Richie Hayward on drums and Kenny Gradney on bass) and 2006’s Boston T Party (with drummer Dennis Chambers, bassist Jeff Berlin, and guitarist Dave Fiuczynski), the latter featuring Lavitz not only as keyboardist but also as composer of most of the disc’s material. In the latter half of the 2000s Lavitz served as a faculty member of the Berklee College of Music and issued a new solo recording, Electric (2009). T Lavitz died unexpectedly in his sleep on October 7, 2010. ~ John Bush & Dave Lynch