The Taj Mahal Trio
Nov 22 - Nov 24, 2013
The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley welcomes the Taj Mahal Trio for our annual Thanksgiving engagement. performing 8 nights and 13 shows. Band members include Taj Mahal (vocals and piano), Bill Rich (bass) and Kester Smith (drums). Set times Friday and Saturday (11/22-11/23 and 11/29-30) and Wednesday (11/27) at 7:30pm AND 9:30pm. Set times on Sunday (11/24 & 12/1) and Tuesday (11/26) at 7:30pm only. Doors open at 5:30pm all nights.
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Taj Mahal, a two-time Grammy winner and one of the most influential American blues and roots artists of the past half-century, celebrates four decades of blues, roots, reggae and beyond with his latest release Maestro (Heads Up). “With this record, as with all my records, I want people to roll back the rug and go for it” says Taj. “This record is just the beginning of another chapter, one that’s going to be open to more music and more ideas. Even at the end of forty years, in many ways my music is just getting started.”
With the worldwide release of Taj Mahal’s album, 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. This anniversary gala includes performances by Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Angelique Kidjo, Los Lobos and others – many of whom have been directly influenced by Taj's music and guidance.
Taj says, "The one thing I've always demanded of the records I've made is that they be danceable, this record is danceable, it's listenable, it has lots of different rhythms, it's accessible, and it’s all right in front of you. It's a lot of fun, and it represents where I am at this particular moment in my life.”
A self taught musician, Taj plays over 20 instruments including National Steel and Dobro guitars, and his remarkable voice ranges from gruff and gravelly to smooth and sultry. His music remains a well-seasoned gumbo, spiced with influences that originate in the Caribbean, West Africa, the Southern States, and the inner cities of America. The oldest of nine children, Taj Mahal was born in Harlem and grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts in a home filled with music. As an adolescent he explored the roots of American blues and other forms of music. For a short time he had an R&B band called Taj Mahal and the Elektras. He emerged professionally as cofounder of The Rising Sons with guitarist Ry Cooder. This led to a recording contract and Taj rose to prominence.
In addition to his regular work Taj has acted in films and composed motion pictures scores. He wrote the Grammy nominated score for Broadway production of Mule Bone. He has appeared in films such as Outside Ozona. In addition, he also recorded a number of Grammy-nominated children’s albums and provided voices for popular cartoon characters.
Dimitriou's Jazz Alley
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