Taj Mahal biography
Taj Mahal Born: May 17, 1942, New York, New York Also known as: Henry St. Claire Fredericks Taj Mahal is an extremely versatile songwriter, musician and performer who incorporates his lifelong study of blues and other genres, as well as the music of other cultures — including Hawaiian, West African, reggae, zydeco, R&B, Latin, gospel, jazz and folk — in his songwriting and performance. Mahal has mastered many instruments, including piano, bass, guitar, banjo and harmonica, and is an expressive vocalist. His deep respect for the true roots of all musical styles is evident in his performance. Stories of legendary and obscure artists from blues and other genres as well as various musical styles and influences are often interspersed between songs. Mahal began performing as a folk singer while he was still a teenager, and during college he became part of Boston's folk scene. He eventually moved to Los Angeles where for a short time he worked with guitar master Ry Cooder. Mahal's loyalty to blues can be found on most of the albums he has released in his prolific career, and is particularly evident in his early, critically-acclaimed releases. Taj Mahal continues to record and perform.