Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Booking Taj Mahal

To book Taj Mahal or another Blues & Jazz artist for your private party, corporate event, fundraiser or other function, please fill out our Artist Request Form to quickly connect with one of our Booking Agents.

The staff of Headline Booking Group will work with you to produce a memorable event. Get started now by filling out our no-obligation Artist Request Form and we will work with you to book Taj Mahal or another Blues & Jazz for your event.


Biography

Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music. Though his career began more than four decades ago with American blues, he has broadened his artist,ic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the world _ west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands and so much more. What ties it all together is his insatiable interest in musical discovery. Over the years, his passion and curiosity have led him around the world, and the resulting global perspective is reflected in his music.

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Born Henry St. Claire Fredericks in Harlem, Henry studied agriculture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the early 1960s. Inspired by a dream, he adopted the musical alias of Taj Mahal and formed the popular U. Mass party band, the Elektras. After graduating, he headed west in 1964 to Los Angeles, where he formed the Rising Sons, a six-piece outfit.

His diversity of musical experience served as the bedrock for Taj’s first three recordings: Taj Mahal (1967), The Natch’l Blues (1968) and Giant Step (1969). Drawing on all the sounds and styles he’d absorbed as a child and a young adult, these early albums showed signs of the musical exploration that would be Taj’s hallmark over the years to come.

In the 1970s, Taj carved out a unique musical niche with a string of adventurous recordings, including Happy To be Just Like I Am (1971), Recycling the Blues and Other Related Stuff (1972), the GRAMMY_-nominated soundtrack to the movie Sounder (1973), Mo’ Roots (1974), Music Fuh Ya (Music Para Tu) (1977) and Evolution (The Most Recent) (1978).

Taj’s recorded output slowed somewhat during the 1980s as he toured relentlessly and immersed himself in the music and culture of his new home in Hawaii. Still, that decade saw the well-received release of Taj in 1987, as well as the first three of his celebrated children’s albums on the Music For Little People label.

He returned to a full recording and touring schedule in the 1990s, including such projects as the musical scores for the Langston Hughes/Zora Neale Hurston play Mule Bone (1991) and the movie Zebrahead (1992). Later in the decade, Dancing the Blues (1993), Phantom Blues (1996), An Evening of Acoustic Music (1996) and the GRAMMY_-winning Se_or Blues (1997) were all commercial and critical successes.

At the same time, Taj continued to explore world music, beginning with the aptly titled World Music in 1993. He joined Indian classical musicians on Mumtaz Mahal in 1995, and recorded Sacred Island, a blend of Hawaiian music and blues, with the Hula Blues in 1998. Kulanjan, released in 1999, was a collaborative project with Malian kora player Toumani Diabate (the kora is a 21-string west African harp).

In 2000, Taj released a second GRAMMY_-winning album, Shoutin’ in Key, and recorded a second album with the Hula Blues, Hanapepe Dream, in 2003. Taj joins the Heads Up International label in the fall of 2008 with the worldwide release of Maestro: Celebrating 40 Years. As the title suggests, this twelve-track set marks the fortieth anniversary of Taj’s rich and varied recording career by mixing original material, chestnuts borrowed from classic sources, and songs written by a cadre of highly talented guest artists.

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