Born: May 17, 1942 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Taj Mahal - guitar, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist
Taj Mahal has spent more than 40 years exploring the roots and branches of the blues. Grounded in the acoustic pre-war blues sound but drawn to the eclectic sounds of world music, he revitalized a dying tradition and prepared the way for a new generation of blues men and women. While many African Americans shunned older musical styles during the 1960s, Mahal immersed himself in the roots of his past. I was interested in the music because I felt something [got] lost in that transition of blacks trying to assimilate into society. He had no intention of repeating what had come before, however, and drew deeply from the wells of the ethnic music of Africa, South America, and the Caribbean....