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Composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, multi-Grammy Award winner, multi-Blues Music Award winner, Blues Hall of Fame member and Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement award recipient Taj Mahal is streaming a series of three concerts from the UC Theatre stage in Berkeley, CA.
Quantifying the legendary Taj Mahal’s musical significance is impossible but people try anyway. He is simply one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th Century Blues and Roots music. Using traditional Country Blues as a starting base, Mahal perfumes the pot by mixing a spicy concoction of Afrocentric Roots music, a Blues gumbo kissed by Reggae, Latin, R&B, Cajun, Caribbean rhythms, Gospel, West African Folk, Jazz, Calypso and Hawaiian slack key.
Taj Mahal and Phantom Blues Band with special guest Jon Cleary
Saturday, March 13 at 9PM EST – When Taj sought to assemble a studio band for his 1993 release Dancing’ the Blues, little did he know at the time he had created an entire “sound” that would see the Phantom Blues Band become headliners at clubs, theaters and festivals around the world. Together and separately, the members of this two-time Grammy Award winning group have performed with Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Little Feat, Elton John, The Rolling Stones and many more. Featuring Tony Braunagel (drums, percussion), Larry Fulcher (bass), Joe Sublett (saxophone), Mike Finnigan (keyborads/organ/vocals) and Jonny Lee Schell (guitar/vocals).
British born New Orleans Funk savant Jon Cleary is a virtuosic keyboardist, profoundly expressive vocalist, distinctive songwriter and Grammy Award winner. His music pays homage to and proudly fills the void left behind by such Crescent City icons as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Art Neville, James Booker and others. He has toured the world with the likes of Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, and has led his own R&B/soul group the Absolute Monster Gentlemen for over two decades now.
Roots Rising Showcase
Saturday, March 20 at 9PM EST – Hosted and curated by Taj Mahal, the Roots Rising Showcase will feature a collection of Taj’s hand-picked favorite emerging artists performing songs recorded live and exclusively for this final series show. Expect a live solo performance from Taj as well. Artists include Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Amythyst Kiah, Annie Mack, Leyla McCalla, Piedmont Bluz Acoustic Duo, Ranky Tanky, Allison Russell and Jontavious Willis.
Taj Mahal & Fantastic Negrito
Saturday, March 27 at 9PM EST – Grammy Award winner and NPR’s inaugural Tiny Desk contest winner, Fantastic Negrito has performed at some of the biggest festivals and stages in the world. He and Taj are mutual fans, SF East Bay neighbors and, more recently, good friends. Both men are self-taught multi-instrumentalists whose timeless music stirs the soul. They have shared bills before but hatched the idea for a duo livestream together on the phone during the pandemic. Utilizing a shared band, expect both separate and collaborative performances on stage.
$25 – Single Show Ticket
$32 – Group Single Ticket (for a single household)
$65 – Series Pass (three show bundle)
$80 – Group Series Pass (three show bundle for a single household)
Each event will be viewable for a 48 hour replay window after its debut.
Virtual Venue Information
This livestreamed event is being hosted on a virtual platform called Mandolin.
Have questions? Need help?
Click here to visit the Mandolin help page.