He’s a singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist – one of the most prominent and influential figures in contemporary blues and roots music. And he’s a musical explorer – you’ll hear west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Hawaiian islands in his music.
Taj Mahal was soaking up musical influences as a child growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts – where musicians from all over the world visited the family home to make music with his jazz pianist father. Taj was born Henry St. Claire Fredericks & studied agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, where he formed his first band.
He took the stage name Taj Mahal around that time, inspired by a dream. He had two passions then – farming & music. He chose music, met Ry Cooder and formed a band called Rising Sons. met blues legends Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Sleepy John Estes. He’s been making albums in his own right since 1967, giving us music so diverse it defies labels. It’s the blues and so much more.
Poye 2 – Taj Mahal & Bassekou Kouyate from the latter’s 2013 CD Ngoni Ba
Cakewalk Into Town from Taj Mahal’s 1991 CD Like Never Before
The Calypsonians from Taj Mahal & The Hula Band’s 1998 CD Sacred Island
Read more about Taj Mahal at http://www.tajblues.com/