Taj Mahal Trio
One of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music Taj Mahal is a 2014 recipient of the Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award along side such luminaries as Jackson Brown, Loretta Lynn and Flaco Jimenez. Though his career began more than four decades ago with American blues, he has broadened his artistic 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.
The two-time Grammy winner and one of the most influential American blues and roots artists of the past half-century, celebrates over four decades of blues, roots, reggae and beyond with his latest release The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal 1969-1973 (Legacy, 2012), a two disc set. This is a follow up to 2008’s Maestro: Celebrating 40 Years, marking 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.
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.