Imagine a supergroup of Bruce Hornsby, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius and Steve Morse all being in a classroom or a recording studio on a college campus.

You don't have to imagine it. It really happened.

In the mid 1970s, that eclectic group of musicians passed through the hallways of the University of Miami.

They all went in different directions, of course. Hornsby lived on pop radio before moving into jam music with the Grateful Dead. Metheny is a jazz icon. Pastorius was a great jazz bassist who died in the late 1980s.

Morse has spent his career first with the Dixie Dregs, then joined Kansas for a handful of years in the late 1980s and early 1990s before moving to Deep Purple, where he has spent the last quarter-century.

But the Dregs recently reunited their original lineup for the first time in 40 years, and that quintet -- guitarist Morse, bassist Andy West, drummer Rod Morgenstein, violinist Allen Sloan and keyboard player Steve Davidowski -- are on a 25-date national tour that started on Feb. 28 and runs through late April. The tour makes its only New England stop in Boston on March 19 at the Wilbur Theater.

Getting the band back together last year came thanks to a phone call from their manager, who asked if the group would be interested in reuniting with the original lineup.


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Morse, who never officially left Dixie Dregs and simply fit in his other gigs around the Dregs, noted that Deep Purple had a break in their tour schedule so he was up for it. (Morgenstein, who has been the drummer for Winger since their inception, has also been with the Dixie Dregs from the beginning.)

Morse told me last week in a phone interview that the rehearsals were a lot of fun.

"Some of the stuff we're rehearsing is stuff that Steve (Davidowski, who left the group in 1977) had never played before. Some of the stuff is stuff we've never played live before," Morse said, adding that he's looking forward to seeing how it all goes once they get on the road. (We talked before their first show).

The Dixie Dregs blend hard rock, southern rock, progressive metal and even classical (hence, the violin) into their music. They've earned six Grammy Award nominations over the years, but for longtime fans of the group, this is the rare opportunity to see the original lineup together, rather than the myriad collections of musicians they've featured the past few decades (including the great violinist Mark O'Connor in 1981-82 and Dream Theater keyboard player Jordan Rudess as a fill-in in 1994).

If you don't have tickets already, make sure you get them. This is an opportunity you won't want to miss.